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Is it possible to hijack a quadcopter?

Like an attacker would jam the controller's signals and send his/her own signal to controll the drone. If so, what would be the technical steps?

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    $\begingroup$ Welcome to Drones SE! As your question stands, it likely isn't suited to this site. There's the issue of legality. Interfering with any drones, whether it be physically damaging the drone or jamming the signal, can result in unwanted legal issues. According to the Communications Act of 1934, interfering with radio transmissions (such as the ones controlling the drone) is unlawful. $\endgroup$
    – Jacob B
    Apr 16, 2021 at 20:03
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    $\begingroup$ There is almost certainly comparable legislation in effect for other countries besides the USA as well. $\endgroup$
    – ifconfig
    Apr 16, 2021 at 20:54
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    $\begingroup$ I mean, technically it is certainly possible. There have been several news headlines over the years about law enforcement developing and testing devices to"swat" drones out of the sky with radio jammers, but these are mega illegal to use by the public. We can't morally (or I think legally) endorse or document how to make them. $\endgroup$
    – ifconfig
    Apr 17, 2021 at 5:47

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Yes, you look up the communication protocol and the frequency that it's using. If it's unencrypted you can pretty readily hijack it assuming you can over power the transmitter. If it's running off GPS you need to GPS spoof it(not sure how to do this but it's possible).

If it's encrypted you probably will only be able to crash it.

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  • $\begingroup$ Most drones will not be using a single frequency. You'd also need to work out the frequency hopping pattern, and copy that. If it's running from GPS, there's probably a command to switch it back to manual control. OTOH GPS spoofing would work even if you can't crack the encryption. $\endgroup$ Jun 21, 2021 at 8:02
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it very much depends on the protocol used to communicate, for a typical DJI drone as example it's a hard NO, well nothing is impossible, but it will be very hard to do it in the few minutes of flight time.

there are some weaker protocols out there that would technically make this easier, but again you first need to find the drone with active communication (eg it's armed and connected) intercept the communication and then spoof the original controller, this is pretty difficult to accomplish in the little time you have until the drone lands because the battery is empty.

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Is it possible to hijack a quadcopter?

A)Yes

B)No

If so, what would be the technical steps?

Find a flying drone. Intercept the communication. If encrypted go and get a quantum computer before they switch to quantum encryption.

I will not detail the step-by-step process to hijack a quadcopter. It's already on the internet. If you didn't find it yet, you didn't ask yourself the right questions.

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