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Friday, 09 November 2018 08:49

Bug in DJI drones allows unfettered access to all data

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Bug in DJI drones allows unfettered access to all data Pixabay

A bug in drones made by DJI, the world's biggest manufacturer of these devices, allowed an attacker to gain access to flight records and user account information, the Israeli security firm Check Point claims.

The company said, in addition, the bug could be exploited to provide access to the drone's camera, microphone and map view. Under certain conditions, the attacker could also see a live view of the drone pilot's camera and location.

The Check Point researchers pointed out that the civilian and aerial imaging industry was now worth about US$127 billion and DJI had cornered about 70% of this market.

Users of DJI drones can log into their accounts through one of three cloud-based platforms:

  • DJI’s Web Platform (account, store, forum);
  • DJI’s GO/4/pilot Mobile Application; and
  • DJI’s Flighthub (a centralised drone operations management platform).

But a loophole in the user identification process allowed the Check Point researchers to hijack accounts and obtain full access to all of these platforms and the data stored therein.

drone attack

The researchers first discovered that the DJI back-end used the same identifier token to verify a user across all three platforms.

They then carried out a cross-site scripting attack within the DJI forum to intercept an identifying token and use it to log in as the user in question.

"Cloud services, by their very nature, are accessible from anywhere. While this, of course, has its advantages, it also means they are more susceptible to account takeover attacks," the researchers wrote.

"Because of this, it is vital that cloud service providers protect their users by offering a two-factor authentication mechanism. By doing so they can ensure safe authentication is provided for users who wish to access their services remotely."

Graphic: courtesy Check Point

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Sam Varghese

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Sam Varghese has been writing for iTWire since 2006, a year after the site came into existence. For nearly a decade thereafter, he wrote mostly about free and open source software, based on his own use of this genre of software. Since May 2016, he has been writing across many areas of technology. He has been a journalist for nearly 40 years in India (Indian Express and Deccan Herald), the UAE (Khaleej Times) and Australia (Daily Commercial News (now defunct) and The Age). His personal blog is titled Irregular Expression.

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