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Drones for Use with Man in the Middle (MITM) Attacks

By Jeff Welch
February 13, 2023

In recent years, there has been a surge in the use of drones for a variety of purposes. One of the most popular drone uses (link: is in military and law enforcement operations. However, there is a growing concern that drones may be used to conduct man-in-the-middle (MITM) attacks. 

What is a MITM Attack? 

A man-in-the-middle attack (MITM) is where an attacker intercepts communications between two parties and impersonates one of the parties to gain access to information or resources. This type of attack can be very difficult to detect, as the attacker will often mimic the behavior of the legitimate party.  

Drone Use for MITM Attacks 

Drones can be used to conduct man-in-the-middle attacks in many ways. For example, a drone could be used to intercept communications between a cell phone and a base station. The drone could then relay those communications to the attacker, who would then be able to listen in on conversations or read text messages.  

There are a number of ways in which drones can be used for MITM attacks, including: 

 GPS Signals

Another way that drones could be used for man-in-the-middle attacks is by spoofing GPS signals. GPS spoofing is where an attacker sends false GPS signals to a device to trick it into thinking it is located elsewhere. This can redirect drones or other vehicles to a different location.  

Intercepting Wi-Fi 

Another way that drones could be used to conduct man-in-the-middle attacks is by intercepting Wi-Fi signals. Wi-Fi signals are often unencrypted, which means that an attacker could easily eavesdrop on communications if they were able to intercept the signal.  

Physical Interception

Drones could also be used to intercept communications physically. For example, a drone could be used to intercept a package being delivered by the postal service. The attacker could then open the package and read the contents before re-sealing it and delivering it to the intended recipient.  

How to Protect Against MITM Attacks

There are a number of steps that can be taken to protect against man-in-the-middle attacks conducted using drones, including: 

Encrypted Communication Systems

For example, it is vital to ensure that communication systems are encrypted. One way of doing this is using SSL or TLS. This will make it more difficult for an attacker to eavesdrop on communications. 

Disable Wi-Fi 

Another way to protect against man-in-the-middle attacks is to disable Wi-Fi on devices when not in use. This will prevent an attacker from being able to intercept Wi-Fi signals.  

Practice Situational Awareness

Additionally, it is essential to be aware of unusual behavior from drones, such as flying in restricted areas or hovering near buildings for extended periods. If you see anything suspicious, it is important to report it to the authorities immediately.  

Finally, when using wireless communication devices, it is important to be aware of your surroundings. If something looks suspicious, it usually is.  

Interested in using drones to secure your business? Learn more about the benefits of using drones for site security by reaching out to Grab The Axe, your total security Solutions provider. Schedule a security assessment today!

Want to learn more about the use of drones for site security?  Check out our relevant articles: 

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