DHS Concerned: Are Chinese Drones Stealing U.S. Data?

U.S. air ship

Recently, the DHS issued a warning that Chinese-made drones may be capturing highly sensitive government data. This is then sent back to the Chinese government. CNN reported that this was not the first time this has happened. According to DHS Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency, Chinese drones have been used before to spy on national intelligence activities. They added that any Chinese drones have the built-in ability to intercept data using onboard internet connections.

If someone purchases a Chinese-made drone, they are advised to turn off the unit’s internet connection and remove its digital cards. This will prevent the drone from sending whatever information it gathers back to the Chinese government.

Is China Spying on U.S. Military?

In a 2017 report from Skylogic Research, some disturbing facts were revealed. For instance, 79 percent of the drones used in Canada and the US are manufactured in China. A memo on this topic from DHS said in part, “(The Chinese drones) contain components that can compromise your data and share your information on a server accessed beyond the company itself.”

Under the law, Chinese companies are under, “Stringent obligations … to support national intelligence activities.” This means that as a duty to their government, Chinese companies must make efforts to spy on the U.S. and other nations considered adversaries. Using Chinese-made drones this can be accomplished with little or no effort. Chinese drones can fly over U.S. military installations or over a military airfield and collect photos and information about what is found there.

What Can You Do About Chinese Drones?

If Americans or Canadians purchase these Chinese drones, security experts recommend removing their digital cards and turning off their internet connection. An individual might unknowingly fly a drone over a U.S military base. Additionally, it could take photos and collect data for the Chinese government. The drone’s owner might be held by authorities for treason.

Drones and Construction

Drones are still widely used in construction because they can easily fly over areas that would be difficult for a person or even a work truck to inspect. So they save time and keep construction personnel safe from accidents. Hence, they’ve become an indispensable component in the construction industry.

One of the top-selling commercial drones on the market is DJI’s Phantom model. And, these are Chinese drones capable of espionage activity.

A Significant Rise in Cyber Crimes

Cybersecurity has become a global concern in the last 10 years, with companies all over the world at risk. In the first half of 2018, there were approximately 945 data breaches at a cost of over $4.5 billion. Smaller companies are being targeted these days because they don’t have the best security system. Also, healthcare agencies are a big target because they have quite a bit more information about people such as:

  • Name
  • Address
  • Date of birth
  • Phone numbers
  • Employment
  • SS#
  • Health conditions
  • Much more

Furthermore, complete information like this about an individual is worth more on the Dark Web. It can be used in so many ways to steal, extort or commit fraud against the person. Though individual and corporate security is improving, it cannot keep up with the work that hackers are doing across the globe.

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