Drone Attempted to Disrupt the Electrical Grid. It Will Not Be the Last


In July of last year, the DJI Mavic 2 drone approached a power plant in Pennsylvania. Two 4-foot nylon cables hanging from its rotors, a thick copper wire attached at the end with electrical tape. The device had been stripped of any recognizable signals, as well as its camera and memory card in a box, in an effort to hide its identity. Its purpose, according to a security document compiled by the DHS, FBI, and the National Counterterrorism Center, was to “disrupt operations by creating a short-lived environment.”

The drone hit the roof of a nearby house before reaching the scene, injuring the rotor at the time. Her assistant could not be reached. And the incident, according to the bulletin, was first reported and ABC, is the first known case of modified, unmanned aircraft used to “direct” US power. It seems impossible to be the last.

Responding to a request for comment, the DHS spokesman wrote that the agency “prefers to share information with government officials, governments, localities, ethnicities, and territories to ensure the safety and security of all areas across the country.”

On the issue of consumer drones potential damage, experts say sounded the alarm for at least six years, claiming that their large presence and potential give off to evildoers. In 2018, an explosive-filled drone made an appearance attempted assassination of Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro. ISIS and other terrorist groups you have used consumer-type quadcopters on illumination and frustration.

But what has happened in Pennsylvania represents a dramatic rise in drone stateside use. The US has had a history in the past: A drone plane landed on White House grass in 2015, and the recent increase in drone sightings near airports and other critical areas has led to the collapse of the FAA. But so far, the confusion can be solved by accident. Not anymore.

“I’m surprised it took so long,” says Colin Clarke, chief of policy and research at Soufan Group, a legal and security expert. “If you have little knowledge of how drones work, and you can get explosive weapons or just put things in place, you can do a lot of damage.”

A Pennsylvania pilot appears to have taken a more aggressive approach. But their efforts to conceal their personality may have hindered them from reaching their full potential. When removing the camera, the accompanying document states, he had to rely on left-handed motion, rather than looking at the eyes of the drone. Although these attempts have failed, experts in the report make it clear that it is unlikely to be wrong; if that is the case, he hopes to see drone operations “increasing in the field of electricity and other vital weapons in the United States’ s development system.”

That greater risk has not been met and reduced accordingly. While the FAA sets limits on where drones buyers can fly, security experts and drone manufacturers have urged it to do more. “As car manufacturers or mobile phones, we can’t really control what people do with their drones when they have them,” said DJI spokesman Adam Lisberg. “DJI has been instrumental in enabling government officials to act swiftly against previously threatened drones, and we have been advocating for law enforcement for a long time to deliberately punish others using drones.”



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