American global security company Intel, are predicting that 'Drone-jacking' is set to become the next major cyber threat. There has been a significant increase in the use of drones - which security experts have warned that is likely to lead to a new wave of 'Drone-jacking.' A report published by Intel's McAfee Labs indicated that hackers will start targeting drones used for deliveries, law enforcement or camera crews, in addition to hobbyists.
A spokesman for Intel Security, Bruce Snell outlined the potential dangers of 'Drone-jacking' in the company's annual threat report - and said there were fearful because so many drones on the market lacked adequate security which makes it easy for outsider hackers to take control of the drones. The concept of 'Drone-jacking' was demonstrated at a security conference last year, where researchers showed how someone could easily take control of a toy drone.
Snell said: "Drones are well on the way to becoming a major tool for shippers, law enforcement agencies, photographers, farmers, the news media, and more. Although taking over a kid's drone may seem amusing and not that big of an issue, once we look at the increase in drone usage potential problems starts to arise."
Companies like Amazon and UPS are expected to use drones for its package deliveries - becoming potential targets for criminals in the process, the report also stated.
The dangers were outlined in the annual report by Intel, the report read: "Someone looking to 'drone-jack' deliveries could find a location with regular drone traffic and wait for the targets to appear. Once a package delivery drone is overhead, the drone could be sent to the ground, allowing the criminal to steal the package."
The researchers said criminals may also look to steal expensive photographic equipment carried by drones, to knock out surveillance cameras used by law enforcement. Intel said it expects to see 'Drone-jacking "toolkits" traded on "dark web" marketplaces in 2017.They've warned that once these toolkits start making the rounds, it is just a matter of time before we start seeing stories of hijacked drones showing up in the evening news.
Other predictions in the report included a decrease in so-called "ransomware" attacks as defences improve, but a rise in mobile attacks that enable cyber thieves to steal bank account or credit card information. The report also noted that cybercriminals will begin using more sophisticated artificial intelligence or "machine learning" techniques and employ fake online ads.