DHS WARNS THAT CHINESE-MADE DRONE ARE STEALING DATA
Washington (CNN)Chinese-made drones may be sending sensitive flight data to their manufacturers in China, where it can be accessed by the government there, the US Department of Homeland Security warned in an alert issued Monday obtained by CNN.
The drones are a "potential risk to an organization's information," the alert from DHS's Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency states. The products "contain components that can compromise your data and share your information on a server accessed beyond the company itself."
The report does not name any specific manufacturers, but nearly 80% of the drones used in the US and Canada come from DJI, which is headquartered in Shenzhen, China, according to one industry analysis. US local law enforcement organizations and infrastructure operators have grown to rely on drones in recent years.
"The United States government has strong concerns about any technology product that takes American data into the territory of an authoritarian state that permits its intelligence services to have unfettered access to that data or otherwise abuses that access," the alert says.
"Those concerns apply with equal force to certain Chinese-made (unmanned aircraft systems)-connected devices capable of collecting and transferring potentially revealing data about their operations and the individuals and entities operating them, as China imposes unusually stringent obligations on its citizens to support national intelligence activities," the alert adds.
The warning from DHS follows an executive order signed by President Donald Trump last week that effectively banned US firms from using telecommunications equipment made by the Chinese company Huawei, which has drawn similar national security concerns of government spying.
The US and China are currently locked in a trade war that has frayed the two countries' relationship as it deteriorated in recent weeks.