Ukrainian cyber specialists disrupt Russian drone control system

On February 8, 2024, the Russian troops reported a major malfunction in their drone control system after Ukrainian cyber specialists carried out another successful operation, reports the Main Intelligence Directorate of the Ukrainian Defense Ministry.

This application, the Ukrainian intelligence officials note, is used by the Russians to adapt DJI drones for use in combat operations. Among other things, the application allows drone operators to:

- Configure control pads and create new ones;

- Capture video and transmit images to their command post;

- Control drones from a computer instead of a controller.

Through web servers, the Russian drone reprogramming application provides a friend-or-foe identification system. Preliminary data indicate that as a result of a cyberattack by the Ukrainian Military Intelligence Directorate, the servers stopped working, causing all software to be recognized as "foe" and denying access to the Russian drone operators.

Without access to the servers, and hence to the system, it is likely impossible to control the drones with controllers. The Russians are currently trying to resolve the issue, including potentially moving to manual control.

At the end of January, the Defence Intelligence Directorate of Ukraine announced the destruction of the database of the Far Eastern Scientific Research Center for Space Hydrometeorology "Planeta" – a state -owned company. The Ukrainian hackers had allegedly breached "Planeta's" security, whose users include the Russian Ministry of Defence, the General Staff, Emergency Services, the Northern Fleet, and others.

This Russian state enterprise is involved in the reception and processing of satellite data and serves more than 50 government entities, mainly the Ministry of Defence, the General Staff, and the Russian Emergency Services.

  War in Ukraine, Russia, drone