Inside Unmanned Systems

AUG-SEP 2018

Inside Unmanned Systems provides actionable business intelligence to decision-makers and influencers operating within the global UAS community. Features include analysis of key technologies, policy/regulatory developments and new product design.

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69 August/September 2018 unmanned systems inside ENGINEERING. PRACTICE. POLICY. what data is available and how do we get it," Findlay said. "Law enforcement and defense investigations are generally reactive in na- ture—therefore, by necessity, we are usually playing catch-up. Having such a research project in existence, sharing not just its find- ings but also the methodologies employed and the working data, provides a tangible helping hand to anyone who subsequently needs to investigate a case which involves such devices. When an individual investiga- tor gets that first case involving drone data, here we have a valuable source of informa- tion which is not only going to make their job easier, but also provide a reference pool of data which they can check against. It helps investigators do a better job, and a better job means better delivery of justice and a safer world." INTERNATIONAL INTEREST This drone forensic program is surveying users regarding their use of this data. "We've had just over 100 responses at this point from North America, South America, Europe, the Middle East, Asia, Africa, Australia—the only place we don't have a response from is Antarctica," Watson said. "We learned from the survey that this is a global issue being faced by law enforcement agencies around the planet." The survey is available at droneforensics.com. Watson noted they have had drone op- erators "call us the enemy and tell them we are ruining their industry on social media," Watson said. "We are viewed by some as a spoilsport looking to take away their hobby or their livelihood." "I think it's just that some drone opera- tors are reticent of government regulations and how those might impact them," Watson said. "My answer back to them is that we have no inf luence in what rules are made or how they are enforced—we're just interested in what data we can learn from aircraft. If some people have violated a law or rule in a jurisdiction, the drone may be able to prove that. On the other hand, if drone operators are accused of violating a law and rule and they did not do that, the same information stored in the drone can show they did not actually do what they are accused of." Ali Dehghantanha, director of the Security of Advanced Systems Lab at the University of Guelph in Canada, has been using this forensic data to create artificial intelligence (AI) software to identify drones potentially infected by malware. The rate at which technology develops is incredible, and often devices will be used in the commission of a crime before they are fully understood from the perspective of what data is available and how do we get it." Benjamin Findlay, senior lecturer in crime intelligence and data analytics, Teesside University in England " "I was amazed with the potential that all those data have in creation of AI agents that could provide active defense for drones and automatically detect those which are poten- tially compromised," he said. "This project paves the way for building forensically sound methods for drone investigation and, more specif ically, identifying what illicit actions were taken and when those activities took place. At the same time, we can identify gaps or weaknesses that exist in extending current forensics practices to drone investigation—if there is any missing data that is supposed to be recorded and needed during an investi- gation, or changing the usual investigation process when dealing with drones." All in all, Watson said he felt "tremendous- ly humbled that our research is being used all over the world. Law enforcement agencies and governments on every continent are us- ing the scientific research we have completed to complete investigations, protect their citi- zens and make a difference in our world."

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