Author Topic: illegal drone use.  (Read 1108 times)

Davin

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Re: illegal drone use.
« Reply #15 on: May 09, 2018, 03:11:35 PM »
Drones are not unstoppable nor untraceable. They are not some kind of magical technology that defies physics.

Currently, AI is not good enough for drones to self pilot. And the ones that can manage to pilot without a human operator do so with the heavy use of data from one or many services which can and often are tracked (sometimes without even a warrant).

The more criminals use the technology, the faster law enforcement will figure out how to subvert and trace down the people using it.

Relax, drones do not represent the end of law and order.
Google is already working with the military to put AI in drones. Being familiar with GPS I know vwry well I can make a drone go anywhere within it's limit and land "on the GPS spot" I want it to. It's already being done at Quartzsite AZ every winter. I stay there over winter with a camping permit on BLM land and watch guys flying these things everywhere. If it gets out of sight a button is pressed that resets the GPS and it will return to where it took off. From what I've seen it's already here. It won't require AI, all thats needed is GPS capability. Campers are already getting highly irritated by drones from some where else whizzing around their campsites. There's groups of ATV types that send notes and maps to each other via drone before the mornings desert trip.  One fella was so upset he's bringing a shotgun next year to down any drone in his vicinity. Having watched this sort of thing all I'm saying is--it's already out of hand. I'm not in a panic--I've seen what's already happening. There's no way a drone can be tracked as to who owns it, or where it came from if the operator wants it that way. International criminals are already building their own drones and there's not a thing Scotland Yard can do about it. Making it illegal to build a private drone wouldn't stop anything.
They've spent more than a decade putting AI in cars and that's still a long ways off, and requires a lot of data to be shared with the vehicles as well as lot of sensors of all kinds. An unmanned drone would need to be pretty big. There are tech demos that look nice in very controlled conditions following a path that has been tested hundreds of times. And it's great when you see the one video where it worked but miss out on the hundreds that didn't. The technology still has a long way to go, and even with automated flying, it requires a lot of data. Drones can be tracked to who owns them, at least the bigger ones. And ones that use GPS absolutely can be tracked. Things can absolutely be done about the drones.

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That's the #1 problem with criminals, they don't obey laws. :)
I hear this argument pretty often and it fails in a lot of ways. Murder is illegal, but people still do it, so it's true that just making things illegal doesn't prevent them from happening. But if murder were not illegal, what would you expect the police to do about it? Murder would be legal. Then someone's kid gets murdered and you come along and say, "well, we can't do anything about murder because criminals do things that are illegal anyway." While murder remains legal, the cops can't do anything about it and people committing murder aren't even criminals because they're not doing anything illegal.

That said, all but the tiny drones should absolutely be licensed, not merely for the criminals, but because people need to be responsible fliers because those things can be dangerous.

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Davin

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Re: illegal drone use.
« Reply #16 on: May 09, 2018, 03:36:03 PM »
Quote
Relax, drones do not represent the end of law and order.

I think we understand that, Davin, there is a touch of humour in this thread I think.
There is always a touch of humor. What I'm seeing in large amounts though, is a crime show level of understanding.
That video is hilarious to anyone who actually knows what they're doing. Hell, anyone who just barely got into programming will find that video hilarious.

Another hilarious trope that happens in movies and shows is that it takes like 60 seconds to trace a call... don't rely on that in real life. Even with cell pones it barely takes a second. It would only take 60 seconds if people were doing the triangulation math by hand.

Tracking hackers is also easier that you think. At least in first world countries. The kind of hacker it would take to not be tracked down would be extremely rare and incredibly lucky in today's day and age. It's only a problem when a hacker hides out in a country without as much technology and/or is not very agreeable to help. That is one thing that diplomats facilitate. In the US, agencies already have nearly unfettered access to ISP servers. There are things a hacker can do to hide themselves, but it takes a lot of work and knowledge and a little luck. Most "hackers" these days though are people that read through forums for exploits and scripts to exploit them, hardly any skill or knowledge involved, and they are easy to catch.

It just seems like a lot of "knowledge" going around in this thread is coming not from reality, but from shows whose job it is to twist real life things or make up things to create suspense and drama. That's all fine in the realm of the show, but try to differentiate between that and reality.

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Dave

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Re: illegal drone use.
« Reply #17 on: May 09, 2018, 04:50:01 PM »
Well, trying to keep it light, but . . .

I have not watched TV for 12 years and never bothered with that sort of stuff anyway. A lifetime of being a sci-fi fan and some engineering training and experience, with a life long interest in science, helps me filter possible from improbable or impossible (so far as we know) technology.

So I am left with online media articles and I am very, very sceptical and wary of newspaper and other sites with an agenda or ideology and even try to verify scientific ones with other sources sometimes. Even treat the BBC with a degree of care. Very, very careful of anything on Youtube! Never buy a newspaper.

Any idea what the ratio of stopped major hacks, before any damage is done, to partially or wholey successful attacks? What percentage of aggressive bots are blocked before they do their job?
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Davin

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Re: illegal drone use.
« Reply #18 on: May 09, 2018, 05:01:39 PM »
Based on my own and the company servers, nearly 100% of all hacking attacks are stopped. If out of a million attacks, one gets through, that's nearly a 100% defense.

Look at your own virus protection, most tend to block several kinds of attacks a day, more if you're looking at more disreputable sites.

When only the successful attacks make it to the news, it's tough to put that into perspective when billions of attacks are thwarted a day across all the various major web sites.

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Re: illegal drone use.
« Reply #19 on: May 09, 2018, 05:16:49 PM »
Guessed the answer would be something like that but how many of those blocked millions are "pre-recognised" ones, of known type and origin with a fix, rather than brand new jobs?

My Avira software seems to report two or three unrecognised ones, that it isolates, a year max to my memory. Hope it's doing its job! I rend to worry more about strange emails at at least one a month.
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Davin

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Re: illegal drone use.
« Reply #20 on: May 09, 2018, 07:45:07 PM »
It takes a long time to find an exploit, and even with highly skilled hackers, it takes a little luck to find one. It helps to know not just how software works, but how the hardware works as well. But that is still no guarantee of finding a vulnerability. There are no doubt thousands of vulnerabilities existing in all software right now, it's just that no one has found them. With modern coding practices, most of the vulnerabilities are taken care of, but there are ones that no one knows about yet.

The good news is, that no one is going to put thousands of hours of effort into attacking someone's personal computer in order to find an exploit that likely won't even have a pay off. There is a high likely hood, I would say a certainty, that there are vulnerabilities sitting on your devices due to the combination of software and hardware combinations you are using. You're fine though.

People don't really hack because they are looking for a challenge, that is something made up a bit from the bravado of caught hackers and fictional representations of hackers. They, not unlike other criminals, are looking for low effort payouts. There are some times where some will focus effort on a challenge, but it is highly unlikely that you will ever fall victim to that. Keep your software updated, keep your anti-virus up, and you'll be fine. Avira is good.

Other good news, is that there are some really smart people who's job it is to find vulnerabilities and point them out to the software owners. That pays a lot better than exploiting the vulnerabilities and there is also significantly less risk of being arrested.

You should be a little worried about it, but worrying too much does no good.

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Dave

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Re: illegal drone use.
« Reply #21 on: May 09, 2018, 08:59:22 PM »
I'll just drop this here for readers to opine on . . .

[. . .]
The criminal UAV issue is not limited to America by any means. Police in the UK received 3,456 incident reports of drones behaving badly in 2016, a threefold jump from 2015, a 12-fold increase since 2014 and equivalent to 10 complaints a day. The incidents ranged from minor spats between neighbors to covertly dropping drugs and firearms into prisons. A photographer even managed to set his camera drone down aboard Britain's biggest warship, the HMS Queen Elizabeth, with nary a consequence. As the photographer told the BBC:

I could have been anybody. It was like a ghost ship. I would say my mistake should open their eyes to a glaring gap in security. This was a bit of tomfoolery, but it could have been something terrible, not just for the ship and its crew but for the people of Invergordon...

[. . .]

UAVs have also proved quite useful to some of the most ruthless and powerful crime syndicates in South America. Last November, Colombian law enforcement discovered 287 pounds of cocaine as well as a disassembled UAV, possibly belonging to the Clan del Golfo criminal organization, buried on a beach in the coastal town of Bahía Solano.

"The drone was used to carry cocaine to Panama, it had the capacity to transport 10 kilos [22 pounds] on each trip and to travel a distance of 100 kilometers [62 miles]," José Acevedo, the regional police commander, told El Siglo. While the police did not specify what kind of drone was hidden, the fact that it can carry 22 pounds a trip strongly suggests this was a more robust device than the typical commercially available UAV.

[. . .]

However, law enforcement is far from helpless in countering these incidents. Michael Blades, research director at market-research firm Frost & Sullivan, recently told Air and Space Magazine that the anti-drone business is worth "between $500 million and a billion dollars right now" and could grow to $1.3 billion by 2023. "I think double-digit growth is a foregone conclusion," he said, "just because they're starting from almost zero right now."

Counter-drone systems are as varied as they are numerous, ranging from shotgun shells loaded with wire nets to eagles trained to snatch UAVs from midair. Snake River Shooting, an Idaho-based ammo manufacturer, has even come out with "dronemunition," ferromagnetic birdshot packed into 12-gauge shotgun shells. Many counter-drone technologies, however, are far less dramatic and instead rely on radio-frequency jamming to take out the offending UAV. The DoD's Navy Special Warfare Command in July signed a $1.5 million contract with SkySafe to develop a vehicle-mounted RF jammer that can identify, track and disable enemy UAVs before they can get close enough to do harm to friendly troops.


https://www.engadget.com/2017/10/11/drone-crime-how-cops-stop-it/
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Dave

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Re: illegal drone use.
« Reply #22 on: May 09, 2018, 09:09:48 PM »
And a bit on anti-drone measures:

Quote
How police catch drone-flying criminals
[. . .]
But just as investigators only began to understand the enormous forensic resource that mobile phones represent around the turn of the century, the tougher challenges of drone forensics are now quietly beginning to be met, too.

It isn’t in the bulky device itself. It’s the fact that it’s part of a complex digital ecosystem.

All these issues are adding up to a need for more investigative tools, says James Mackler, an attorney specialising in drone litigation at Mackler Law Firm in Nashville, Tennessee.

"Drone forensics are becoming increasingly important as more drones take to the air. Civilian commercial drones are now being used by terrorist organisations and the fact that they are being weaponised makes forensics all the more critical." He knows the risks more than most: he’s a former US Army helicopter pilot who flew missions alongside military drones in Iraq.

http://www.bbc.com/future/story/20170731-how-cops-catch-drone-flying-criminals
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Old Seer

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Re: illegal drone use.
« Reply #23 on: May 10, 2018, 12:50:25 AM »
To try to do a crime with a manufactured drone would be foolish I think. Having read the article I found it very interesting. But doncha think a person would be smart enough to know one would have to make up their own from scratch  and make it specialized. If I was to use one for covert ops I definitely wouldn't incorporate a tracking system or any kind of onboard information registry.
I understand the GPS tracking systems as I have one I use at Quartzsite AZ for prospecting. I have to turn it off and only use it on site. If I find a trace of gold I take the coordinates, write them down and then turn it off. It has a track system that I can use to go back to  a certain spot. I don't let it log anything to protect where I've been or any back track info. The reason I turn it off is to be sure the tracking is off and the unit isn't logging anything unintended while moving to other places . It's a real pain to have to do it that way, but leaving coordinates in the unit will allow someone else to find the spot I was at. A GPS unit in a drone allows the same thing. It would be rather silly to use a drone for a crime if it can be tracked. I'd say a drone is a perfect crime device if one is aware of what not to incorporate into and (in case of video) what not to record.  Don't record anything, just use the camera for a seeing eye.
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Davin

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Re: illegal drone use.
« Reply #24 on: May 10, 2018, 03:24:27 PM »
If someone could make a drone from scratch, not only would they find more money and less risk using their skills elsewhere, but they'd have to have a very large work space with a lot of specialized equipment. One way or another, using a drone is traceable.

I don't care how smart a criminal is, they can't make processor's from scratch. And if they could, the processors would be too big and too slow to be able to handle anything that is required for operating the drone. They have to buy or harvest those processors which leaves a trail. This is not a technology that can be created by hand from scratch, the most important parts would need to be bought or stolen.

The chances that a group of criminals would be able to build a drone from scratch is extremely low, I'd colloquially say impossible, and it's not the kind of hard work criminals are known for.

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Re: illegal drone use.
« Reply #25 on: May 10, 2018, 04:23:23 PM »
Quote
If someone could make a drone from scratch, not only would they find more money and less risk using their skills elsewhere, but they'd have to have a very large work space with a lot of specialized equipment. One way or another, using a drone is traceable.

You will have to expand on that for me, Davin. I reckon, with the tools in my attic, I could build the frame for a special purpose, certainly a single use, drone from model grade ply and/or plastic without too much trouble. Motors, props and batteries are available from Amazon, and probably via the local model shop. Transmitting camera and video receiver I have never looked for, but would probably be "won" from a smaller shop-bought-for-cash one. Ditto remote control. Those shop-bought-for-cash jobs could be used as-is for light loads with very little traceability. The launch/cintrol point would be the most dangerous place if the authorities were on their toes and you have not stolen a decent get-away vehicle for the purpose . . .

If I used Amazon there would be a trail from my card admittedly, but how many hundreds of motors, props and batteries are sold every month? I have a long record of buying all kinds of electronic stuff, including RF transmitter/receiver pairs, coded and open,  high power switching FETs etc which, so far as I know, has triggered no official flags. Since I was in the RAF and worked for a weapons systems company at one time I have signed the OSA several times and been vetted once - so I am on official lists still almost certainly.

How would they trace those items to me? If I were planning sonething naughty I might get "accomplices" in other locations to order single items and post them on to me. As it is about 4 small packages come through my letterbox every week. Of course, this stuff is all for my creative and inventive hobbies . . . And betcha there are people at least as able as me on the naughty side of things.
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Old Seer

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Re: illegal drone use.
« Reply #26 on: May 10, 2018, 05:28:06 PM »
Quote
If someone could make a drone from scratch, not only would they find more money and less risk using their skills elsewhere, but they'd have to have a very large work space with a lot of specialized equipment. One way or another, using a drone is traceable.

You will have to expand on that for me, Davin. I reckon, with the tools in my attic, I could build the frame for a special purpose, certainly a single use, drone from model grade ply and/or plastic without too much trouble. Motors, props and batteries are available from Amazon, and probably via the local model shop. Transmitting camera and video receiver I have never looked for, but would probably be "won" from a smaller shop-bought-for-cash one. Ditto remote control. Those shop-bought-for-cash jobs could be used as-is for light loads with very little traceability. The launch/cintrol point would be the most dangerous place if the authorities were on their toes and you have not stolen a decent get-away vehicle for the purpose . . .

If I used Amazon there would be a trail from my card admittedly, but how many hundreds of motors, props and batteries are sold every month? I have a long record of buying all kinds of electronic stuff, including RF transmitter/receiver pairs, coded and open,  high power switching FETs etc which, so far as I know, has triggered no official flags. Since I was in the RAF and worked for a weapons systems company at one time I have signed the OSA several times and been vetted once - so I am on official lists still almost certainly.

How would they trace those items to me? If I were planning sonething naughty I might get "accomplices" in other locations to order single items and post them on to me. As it is about 4 small packages come through my letterbox every week. Of course, this stuff is all for my creative and inventive hobbies . . . And betcha there are people at least as able as me on the naughty side of things.
The first flaw in your plan would be---your accomplices. But, you may have no choice, it may be one cannot do everything needed to make a plan work. I worked out how not to have others in on the deal----decoy drones. The first problem in using one is---people may see where it came from. So, you may have to wait until others in the ares are sport using theirs or divert attention with a decoy so the origin can't be determined. One also has to conclude that the drone is expendable and subject to one's loss. The best is---let them have or give it to them. Just land it and they'll take it. You wouldn't want it returning because that puts it back in your possession as evidence. In this case--the evidence isn't evidence. If you start the flight from a remote location (away from you) it got there unseen/unnoticed. Depending upon your intent you may have to get to know you first. Greed will get you caught, as will impatience, etc.
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Re: illegal drone use.
« Reply #27 on: May 10, 2018, 06:53:02 PM »
Quote
If someone could make a drone from scratch, not only would they find more money and less risk using their skills elsewhere, but they'd have to have a very large work space with a lot of specialized equipment. One way or another, using a drone is traceable.

You will have to expand on that for me, Davin. I reckon, with the tools in my attic, I could build the frame for a special purpose, certainly a single use, drone from model grade ply and/or plastic without too much trouble. Motors, props and batteries are available from Amazon, and probably via the local model shop. Transmitting camera and video receiver I have never looked for, but would probably be "won" from a smaller shop-bought-for-cash one. Ditto remote control. Those shop-bought-for-cash jobs could be used as-is for light loads with very little traceability. The launch/cintrol point would be the most dangerous place if the authorities were on their toes and you have not stolen a decent get-away vehicle for the purpose . . .

If I used Amazon there would be a trail from my card admittedly, but how many hundreds of motors, props and batteries are sold every month? I have a long record of buying all kinds of electronic stuff, including RF transmitter/receiver pairs, coded and open,  high power switching FETs etc which, so far as I know, has triggered no official flags. Since I was in the RAF and worked for a weapons systems company at one time I have signed the OSA several times and been vetted once - so I am on official lists still almost certainly.

How would they trace those items to me? If I were planning sonething naughty I might get "accomplices" in other locations to order single items and post them on to me. As it is about 4 small packages come through my letterbox every week. Of course, this stuff is all for my creative and inventive hobbies . . . And betcha there are people at least as able as me on the naughty side of things.
The first flaw in your plan would be---your accomplices. But, you may have no choice, it may be one cannot do everything needed to make a plan work. I worked out how not to have others in on the deal----decoy drones. The first problem in using one is---people may see where it came from. So, you may have to wait until others in the ares are sport using theirs or divert attention with a decoy so the origin can't be determined. One also has to conclude that the drone is expendable and subject to one's loss. The best is---let them have or give it to them. Just land it and they'll take it. You wouldn't want it returning because that puts it back in your possession as evidence. In this case--the evidence isn't evidence. If you start the flight from a remote location (away from you) it got there unseen/unnoticed. Depending upon your intent you may have to get to know you first. Greed will get you caught, as will impatience, etc.

Oh, I think I have the mechanical and most of the electronic skills and tools plus the ability to read up on the rest. One might even design a perfectly innocent, hobby design level, project to use much of the stuff as camouflage. Robot hobby projects are all the rage now . . .The accomplices were mainly to spread the acquisition geographically, just in case. But, it is true that every extra person one involes is an added risk.
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Davin

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Re: illegal drone use.
« Reply #28 on: May 10, 2018, 08:04:20 PM »
You will have to expand on that for me, Davin. I reckon, with the tools in my attic, I could build the frame for a special purpose, certainly a single use, drone from model grade ply and/or plastic without too much trouble. Motors, props and batteries are available from Amazon, and probably via the local model shop. Transmitting camera and video receiver I have never looked for, but would probably be "won" from a smaller shop-bought-for-cash one. Ditto remote control. Those shop-bought-for-cash jobs could be used as-is for light loads with very little traceability. The launch/cintrol point would be the most dangerous place if the authorities were on their toes and you have not stolen a decent get-away vehicle for the purpose . . .
Yep, in other words, not from scratch and traceable. I don't see what I have to expand on you seem to have gotten it.

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Re: illegal drone use.
« Reply #29 on: May 10, 2018, 08:30:07 PM »
You will have to expand on that for me, Davin. I reckon, with the tools in my attic, I could build the frame for a special purpose, certainly a single use, drone from model grade ply and/or plastic without too much trouble. Motors, props and batteries are available from Amazon, and probably via the local model shop. Transmitting camera and video receiver I have never looked for, but would probably be "won" from a smaller shop-bought-for-cash one. Ditto remote control. Those shop-bought-for-cash jobs could be used as-is for light loads with very little traceability. The launch/cintrol point would be the most dangerous place if the authorities were on their toes and you have not stolen a decent get-away vehicle for the purpose . . .
Yep, in other words, not from scratch and traceable. I don't see what I have to expand on you seem to have gotten it.

Hmm, well I was querying the "but they'd have to have a very large work space with a lot of specialized equipment. ". As I impkied, my attic and small dining table would surfice, I could possibly get away without using my oscilloscope and lab power supply for a single clandestine unit - just "normal" hobby tools and a bit of brain power.

Hmm, there are those types who would rather do this kind of work than have a legit job. How many brilliant hackers are out there doing risky stuff when they could earn a bundle, steadily and at less risk, in a company or agency? The criminal mind does not work like ours methinks. I am not interested in another full time job but maybe grabbing a quick grand or so for a week's work (including delivery time) . . . And once a design and templates are made the second unit comes quicker.

No, actually I can't be bothered! But I might do it just for fun, I rather fancy the idea of a wooden drone! Good design excercise seeking strength with lightness and fancy fretwork needed.
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