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Quantifying the COTS Drone Threat Landscape

Recently there has been no shortage of public commentary about drones as a potential threat vector. Unfortunately, there have been very few Threat Modeling conversations about the perceived threats that drones represent. Historically, much of the data about the actual impact of malicious drones and RC aircraft has been classified. However, social media is increasingly providing data in news articles and blogs. In many cases, data has been disseminated via forums, Twitter feeds, Telegram channels, or other public sources.
Increasingly, government and military agencies are also declassifying and, like social media, are sharing data with the general public.
As examples of drone threats present themselves it is increasingly important to have tools that classify and categorize the specific types of threats. A common set of Threat Modeling tools is necessary to allow interested parties to be on the same page regarding the threat potential. A set of recognized methodologies is necessary in the Counter Unmanned Aerial System (CUAS) community to help frame threat potential for those who are attempting to track developments in the counter drone market.
A recent paper titled “Remotely Piloted Innovation: Terrorism, Drones and Supportive Technology”, produced by the Combating Terrorism Center, in West Point, highlights “a typology to help the reader make sense of the incidents in which terrorists have used
drones” (see link below). The paper details many of the notable instances on the public record since 2008. These incidents will soon represent a sizable portion of the last decade’s drone and RC threats.

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