US Army Bans Chinese DJI Drones

By Brian Karas, Published Aug 08, 2017, 09:24am EDT

The US Army has issued a ban on Chinese-made DJI drones.

A US Army memo obtained by sUAS News references a classified document from the Army Research Laboratory titles "DJI UAS Technology Threat and User Vulnerabilities".

 

Inside this note, we examine the specific technical issues involved and contrast it to issues in video surveillance with Chinese government owned Hikvision.

Army **** ********* *** ******** *****

 

****** ********* *** *** released, *** ** *** classified ****** ** *** documents, *** **** **** on ** ********* **** all *** ********* *** applications ** ******* **** use ** **** *********. The **** **** ** far ** ** ********* removal ** ********* *** storage *****, ******** ** concern **** *** ******* or ************ *** *** and/or ******** ********* **** out ** *** ****'* control.

DJI ********

***, ***** ** ********, ** a ********* ***** ************, with ~$*.* ******* **** revenue. ***** ******** ****** both ******* *** ************ operators, *** *** ********* to ** **** ** fly **** ******* ******** required. ****** **** ** not **** ******-******** ******, they *** ****** **** by **** ** ******** branches, ** **** ** by ******* ******** ****** like ****.

No ******* ********** ****

** ****** ***** ******* ***, or *** **********, *** the ******* ********** **** identified ** **** ** the ** **** ******. Further ****** ** ****** sources ** **** ******** no ***** ******** ** DJI/Chinese ********** ****. ****** the **** **** *** company ** ***** ** China *** ******* * cause *** *******, *** US **** ****** ************* the *********/******* *** ******* government *** ***** **** businesses ***** *****.

Army *** ** ******

***** *** **** **** military-specific ********, (*.*.: *** **** / **** ******** drone), *****-**** "********" ********, particularly ***** **** ***, are **** ** ****. In **** ***** ***** products *** ******** ******** by ******* ***** ****** the ****, ** ******** by ******** **********.

DJI **** *******

***'* ******* ****** **** *** ******* ********* on *** ***** ** data *********, *** **** does *** ************ ******* identifying ***********, **** ** GPS ***********.

****** ****** *** ***** used *** ****** ******** of *********, *** ***** data ****** ** *** the **** *********** ** value. ****** ** ********* GPS *********** ** *******, anyone **** ****** ** the ****, ********* *** Chinese **********, ***** *********** discern ********* ** ********* installations, ***** *******, ** other *********.  

******** *****

*** *** ********** ****** that ** ******** **** ******** from *** ******* ********** to ***** ****. ***** ******* ****** goes ** ** ******** how **** *** *** or ******** *********** ********* by ***** ******:

*** **** ****** *** drones **** ********* *****, or ** ********* **** would *** **** *********, would **** ***** ****** to ** ********* **** DJI's ******* ********.

************, *** ***** ** DJI ********** *********** ** drone ******* *** **** discussed ** ******* ***** sites (*.*.: ****).

Communication **** *** ********* ** *****

**** ****, *** ********** of ****** **** ********** making *** *** ** DJI ******* ********* *************.

***** *** ****** *** be **** ** * manner **** ******** **** from ********** ** *** internet ** ***** ******* networks, ********** **** ***** will **** ** ******* a ******** ******,***** ******** *********** ******** via *** ********** ***

*** ******-***** **** **** to ******* *** ****** can **** ******* *** cache ****, ***** *** be ******** **** *** app *** *** *****'* internet ***********. ***** **** ********* ******** about *** *** ***** excessive ****.

**** ********* ** *** app *** ********** ********, but ** **** *** switched ** ********** *** data, ********* ** ******* references ** ***-******* ***** discussions (**: ********** *********). **** ***** ** difficult *** ***** ** know ******* **** **** is ******* **** ** DJI, ** **** ** gets ****.

Hikvision ****** ************

*********'* ******* ****** [**** no ****** *********] ******** ******* similar ** ***'*:

**** ***, ********* ****** **** may ******* *** ***** information **** '***********'. 

***** ** ******* *** Hik-Connect **** ** ******** ** privacy ** *** ***** of **** ****, ****** they ** **** ** clear **** ****** "******* leakage" *****, *** ******* would **** ** *********:

********* **** ******* ************** *** Hikvision ******* **** ****** ***** ** privacy *****.

Data ******* ******** *** *********

********* *** ******* ******* **** a"***** ****" ******* ******* ** *******. ***, in ****, *********** *** ******* ** that ** *** ********, *** *** ********** was **** ** *** firmware *** *** ****** to ******** ********** **** to ********* *******.

Hikvision, ***** ******

*** ** **** ******** DJI ***** ** *********** *** Hikvision, ** *********'* ******* ********** ownership would ****** ** **** greater ***** *** *******. Hikvision *** ******* ***** capabilities **** ********** ******** connection ******** **** ******* to ********* *******, *** certainly ***** ** ****** statement **** ******** **** and/or ***** ** *** collected *** ****** ** their *******.

***** *********'* ******* ** greater **** ***, *********'* mainstream ***** *********** ** much ***** **** *** and ********* *** ** the ** ******** ** most ****** *** **** than ***, **** ******* providing **** ******* *** Hikvision **** ******* ** US ******** *******.

***** **** **** **** Hikvision/Dahua/etc. ***** **** *** capacity ** **** **** to *** ******* **********, it *** **** ****** **** DJI, ******* ******* *******, does ******* *********** *** send ** ** *** servers. ***** ******* *** a ****** ********* *** proactively ********* ***** ******* devices **** **** ****** to ********* ****, *** a ***** ** ****** it ** ****** *******, both ******** * ******* ****** or ******** ***** ****. 

**** ***** ** *** US **** **** ***** just ** *********, *** to * ****** ****** Dahua, *** ************ ********** in *** **, *** attempting ** ****** ***** products ** ****** **********-***** deployments, ***** ** ********** installations ***** ********* ******* for. ** **** ** challenging *** ***** ********* to ***** **** ***** products **** *** ********** collect *** **** ********* information ** * ****** similar ** ***, ***** could ****** ** ***** to ********-********* *************.

UPDATE - *** **** ***** **** ****

*** ** ****** * "local **** ****", ***** **** ******* internet ************** **/**** ****** control ****. **** ** targeted ** ********* ********* ***** privacy, "including ****** *** ******* organizations **** *** ***** DJI ********** ** ******* sensitive ********** ****** *** world", ********* ** ***'* release.  *** ******* **** says "*** ***** **** mode ******* *** *** be ********* ** ********* where ** ******** ********** is ******** ** ****** advisable *** ** ***** regulations ** ************", ****** it ******** ***** **** how **** ******* *****, such ** *** ********, will **** **** **** function **** *****.

****

Comments (7)

I'm curious to hear commentary from the 5% of voters who think it's a good idea for the US Army to use Hikvision products.

Also I'm curious about the same things being happened on other international brands in Chinese Army.

I'm curious what you are asking.

Really? Are you 100% sure the CIA would not exploit a similar 'back door' feature? IP surveillance is a spooks dream.

sUAS News.  How exciting.  All sorts of news about drones.  Kratos does drones?  https://www.flightglobal.com/news/articles/new-kratos-uav-will-enter-production-this-year-440089/

So we'll be seeing Henry Brothers drones some day? 

UPDATE - DJI Adds Local Data Mode

DJI is adding a "local data mode", which will disable internet communications to/from flight control apps. This is targeted at customers concerned about privacy, "including public and private organizations that are using DJI technology to perform sensitive operations around the world", according to DJI's release. The release also says "The local data mode feature may not be available in locations where an internet connection is required or highly advisable due to local regulations or requirements", making it somewhat vague just how much control users, such as the military, will have over this function once added.

Update: 

Drone Giant DJI To Feds: Your Allegations Are “Insane”

A newly-surfaced Immigration and Customs Enforcement memo alleges that DJI is feeding sensitive data to the Chinese government.

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