The US military has been using ‘off the shelf’ commercial aerial vehicles more and more recently. A recent Department of Defense memo citing cyber-security concerns has put a stop to all new purchases and utilization of these drones. Many of these units are manufactured in China.

Memo:

SUBJECT: (U/FOUO) Unmanned Aerial Vehicle Systems Cybersecurity Vulnerabilities

(U/FOUO) On May 14, 2018 the DoD Inspector General found that DoD has not implemented an adequate process to access cybersecurity risks associated with using commercial-off-the-shelf (COTS) Unmanned Aerial Systems (UAS).

(U/FOUO) Effectively immediately, you must suspend purchases of COTS UAS for operational use until the DoD develops a strategy to adequately assess and mitigate the risks associated with their use.

(U/FOUO) In addition you must suspend the use of COTS UASs until the DoD identifies and fields a solution to mitigate known cybersecurity risks.

(U/FOUO) I hold approval authority for any requests for exemptions, on a case by case basis, to support urgent needs.

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(U/FOUO) The points of contact for this matter are Ms Ellen M, Lord, Under Secretary of Defense for Acquisition and Sustainment, and Mr, Dana Deasy, Department of Defense Chiefs Information Officer.

Featured image by US Department of Defense

dod bans commercial drones