Warfare is no longer about dumping thousands of men in a field and shooting at each other. Today, non-governmental forces are packing explosives onto commercially available drones and flying them over crowded areas. This past August, a dissident organization called Soldiers in T-Shirts attempted to assassinate Venezuelan President Nicolás Maduro using a drone. While this attempt was unsuccessful, it marked the first time -- but almost certainly not the last -- that a paramilitary organization tried to assassinate a sitting head of state with a drone.
Flying taxis are soon to become reality. Dubai started testing taxi drones last year. The Volocopter is supposed to provide transportation for two passengers for up to 30-minute trips. The Volocopter and other flying taxis are supposed to publicly launch within five years. What are the cybersecurity risks associated with autonomous flying vehicles?
This blog is an excerpt from the Atlantic Council report Aviation Cybersecurity - Finding Lift, Minimizing Drag by Pete Cooper. Alpine's Christian Espinosa, an expert on penetration testing and risk assessments of commercial aircraft, contributed to this report via an interview and panel discussion.