Date of Award

2014

Degree Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Bachelor of Science (Security) Honours

School

School of Computer and Security Science

Faculty

Health, Engineering and Science

First Advisor

Dr Mike Johnstone

Abstract

With the increasing proliferation of small civilian Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs), the threat to critical infrastructure (CI) security and privacy is now widely recognised and must be addressed. These devices are easily available at a low cost, with their usage largely unrestricted allowing users to have no accountability. Further, current implementations of UAVs have little to no security measures applied to their control interfaces. To combat the threat raised by small UAVs, being aware of their presence is required, a task that can be challenging and often requires customised hardware.

This thesis aimed to address the threats posed by the Parrot AR Drone v2, by presenting a data link signature detection method which provides the characteristics needed to implement a mitigation method, capable of stopping a UAVs movement and video stream. These methods were developed using an experimental procedure and are packaged as a group of Python scripts.

A suitable detection method was developed, capable of detecting and identifying a Parrot AR Drone v2 within WiFi operational range. A successful method of disabling the controls and video of a Parrot AR Drone in the air was implemented, with collection of video and control commands also achieved, for after-the-event reconstruction of the video stream.

Real-time video monitoring is achievable, however it is deemed detrimental to the flight stability of the Parrot, reducing the effectiveness of monitoring the behaviour of an unidentified Parrot AR Drone v2. Additionally, implementing a range of mitigations for continued monitoring of Parrot AR Drones proved ineffectual, given that the mitigations applied were found to be non-persistent, with the mitigations reverting after control is returned to the controller. While the ability to actively monitor and manipulate Parrot AR Drones was successful, it was not to the degree believed possible during initial research.

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