DEF CON 25 (2017) – Game of Drones – Brown,Latimer – Stream – 29July2017

29 July 2017 – DEF CON 25 (2017)
Fran Brown & David Latimer – Bishop Fox

Game of Drones: Putting the Emerging ‘Drone Defense’ Market to the Test

When you learned that military and law enforcement agencies had trained screaming eagles to pluck drones from the sky, did you too find yourself asking: “I wonder if I could throw these eagles off my tail, maybe by deploying delicious bacon countermeasures?” Well you’d be wise to question just how effective these emerging, first generation ‘drone defense’ solutions really are, and which amount to little more than ‘snake oil’.

There is no such thing as “best practices” when it comes to defending against ‘rogue drones’ – period. Over the past 2 years, new defensive products that detect and respond to ‘rogue drones’ have been crawling out of the woodwork. The vast majority are immature, unproven solutions that require a proper vetting.

We’ve taken a MythBusters-style approach to testing the effectiveness of a variety of drone defense solutions, pitting them against our DangerDrone. Videos demonstrating the results should be almost as fun for you to watch as they were for us to produce. Expect to witness epic aerial battles against an assortment of drone defense types, including:
• trained eagles and falcons that hunt ‘rogue drones’
• fighter drones that hunt and shoot nets
• drones with large nets that swoop in and snatch up ‘rogue drones’
• surface-to-air projectile weapons, including bazooka-like cannons that launch nets, and shotgun shells containing nets
• signal jamming and hijacking devices that attack drone command and control interfaces
• even frickin’ laser beams and Patriot missiles!

We’ll also be releasing DangerDrone v2.0, an upgraded version of our free Raspberry Pi-based pentesting quadcopter (basically a ~$500 hacker’s laptop… that can also fly). We’ll be giving away a fully functional DangerDrone v2.0 to one lucky audience member!

So come see what’s guaranteed to be the most entertaining talk this year and find out which of these dogs can hunt!


  1. From my understanding, a fair amount of drones actually have wifi networks of their own. If you know what type of program/interface/etc they are using, there is a good chance you could take control/disable their drone altogether.

    AKA you could totally build something like the Danger Drone, except kitted to hack the crap out of other drones and make them rain from the sky. As it turns out, most drone-makers arn't big on securing their drones from intruders.

  2. Add a camera system with IR and visible light sensitivity, an electric motor, servos, actuators, a Raspberry Pi or two, a basic tracking radar emitter and receiver, and a 1000 Watt mixed-wavelength IR/UV/Violet 500 Watt or higher laser. Basically, a mini-Phalanx CIWS turret for your backyard that shoots lasers at drones approaching too close with day or night capability.

  3. A 150$ mini quad with a somewhat competent pilot and some wires and or fish hooks poking out from it to tangle in props would be a way better option than any of this stuff since you would be able to pull like 80mph or more and just ram it even if the wires were unable to get the props. Im sure you could find a way to deploy an on board parachute easily too if you wanted to reduce the chances of it dropping and causing damage to persons or property

  4. They totally missed the point of the jamming option. The idea is not to jam GPS and/or cellular. The 3G connection is to the jamming drone, so when it is jamming radio and wifi, you can still pilot the jamming drone. I understand it makes a more interesting presentation just ridiculing all the other idea's, but they should have focussed more on presenting the actually optional routes.

  5. There have been contests for drone defense. Physical nets blocking gps signal and even blocking rf from the transmitter.

  6. This was a decent talk but I was disappointed that he didn't talk about the legalities of using these defense systems too much. For one I was legitimately curious since I knew going into the talk that shooting down a drone is very illegal in the states but what about catching a drone with another drone (with a net). But I was really upset because coming out of the talk I felt like he made it out to sound like you could use these defense systems without any repercussions.

  7. God help us if ISIS realise they can strap a bomb to a drone and just fly it at a high profile targets face.

  8. I wonder if using a sticky foam would work way better than a net, or just a water gun / firehose. Seems like that would be simple / effective.

  9. TL;DW: Everything's crap, illegal and/or vaporware. 12 gauge Skynet shells aren't the latter two, but $10 worth of screen over the props makes Skynet shells sometimes not work. For something that isn't covered and isn't any of the three:

    12 gauge shotgun, Shells with #BB shot, fire extinguisher.

    Be damn sure the drone operator is doing something felonious. Aim shotgun at drone, Apply BB shot until drone is downed. If fire from battery issues and shows evidence of spreading, apply fire extinguisher. Detain operator when they arrive to recover drone. Notify police to take operator into custody and remains of drone as evidence.

    Cost? $124 for a single-shot shotgun. $12.40 for a box of 25 (qty) 12 gauge #BB shells. (Extinguisher price up to your own risk analysis, but class BC extinguishers can be had for ~$20) Total comes out to ~$157.

    On a cost per drone basis, it beats out even that skynet specialty ammunition. (When you hear "specialty ammunition" and it isn't available for less than 50 cents per, you're getting sodomized. In Skynet's case, it's $6.66/shell. That's highway robbery and anal rape.)

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