New technique could help spot snooping drones | Science News



Support nonprofit journalism

Subscribe now


New technique could help spot snooping drones

Prototype may deter undesired surveillance

7:00am, January 23, 2018

FLYING SPY  A new method could reveal whether a suspicious, camera-equipped drone is snooping on you or your home.

Now there’s a way to tell if a drone is spying on someone.

Researchers have devised a method to tell what a drone is recording — without having to decrypt the video data that the device streams to the pilot’s smartphone. This technique, described January 9 at, could help military bases detect unwanted surveillance and civilians protect their privacy as more commercial drones take to the skies.

“People have already worked on detecting [the presence of] drones, but no one had solved the problem of, ‘Is the drone actually recording something in my direction?’” says Ahmad Javaid, a cybersecurity researcher at the University of Toledo in Ohio, who was not involved in the work.  

Ben Nassi, a software engineer at Ben-Gurion University of the Negev in Israel, and colleagues realized that changing the appearance of objects in a drone’s field of view influences

This article is only available to Science News subscribers. Already a subscriber? Log in now. Or subscribe today for full access.

Get Science News headlines by e-mail.

More from Science News

From the Nature Index Paid Content