Title

DATA LEAKAGE CONCERNS OF COMMERCIAL OFF-THE-SHELF SMALL UNMANNED AERIAL SYSTEMS: AN IN-DEPTH LOOK AT ANDROID DJI CONTROL SOFTWARE THROUGH A NEW ANALYSIS PROCESS

Date of Award

December 2017

Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)

Department

Electrical Engineering and Computer Science

Advisor(s)

Shiu-Kai Chin

Keywords

data leak, drone, privacy, small unmanned

Subject Categories

Engineering

Abstract

The proliferation of Commercial Off-the-Shelf (COTS) Small Unmanned Aerial Systems (sUAS) throughout commerce, industry, hobbyists, military and law enforcement alike has precipitated a potential crisis of data privacy, in the context of data leakage. This work devises questions of data privacy relevant to use of COTS sUAS and answers them with respect to the pervasive Dai-Jiang Innovation Technology Company (DJI) mobile control app. These questions touch on differences between expectation and behavior of the app for privacy concerns, identification of parties involved in information sharing, selection of means to assure use of untrusted mobile control software, and assessment of the potential for third parties to identify active control of a COTS sUAS over the network.

This work develops and presents a process to analyze the mobile control app leveraging free and/or open-source software and then applies the process to the DJI GO app for Android (specifically version 4.0.7). Findings indicate data privacy was within the bounds of DJI agreements and generally within the expectations of users. Additionally, COTS sUAS mobile controller apps can pose an additional concern for privacy as the network traffic they generate can allow third parties to identify ongoing and recent sUAS operation.

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