New Partnership Prevents Drones From Zero-Day Cyber Attacks

SparkCognition and SkyGrid have formed a new partnership to protect drones from zero-day attacks – cyber attacks that occur when a newly discovered software vulnerability is discovered by hackers. They are using an airspace management system that relies on AI instead of signatures of known threats in order to detect malicious acts.

“In the near future, we’ll essentially have a network of flying computers in the sky, and just like the computers we use today, drones can be hacked if not secured properly,” Amir Husain, CEO and founder of SparkCognition and SkyGrid, said. “In this emerging environment, traditional anti-malware technology won’t be adequate to detect these never-before-seen attacks. SkyGrid is taking a new, intelligent approach by using AI to more accurately detect and prevent cyberattacks from impacting a drone, a payload, or a ground station.”

The system will use SparkCognition’s DeepArmor with SkyGrid’s airspace management system, AeriosOS, and can be installed directly on drone hardware, where it can function  without network connectivity. When the system detects a threat, it stores the data to be later analyzed to help  counter future attacks.

It is expected that DeepArmor will be used to counter national security threats within the defense industry.

“This is critical as we continue to see more stories like the RQ-170 UAV that was captured and reverse-engineered,” Ali Husain said. “DeepArmor can help avoid these scenarios by protecting endpoints from 99.9 percent of never-before-seen threats. When deployed on drones, DeepArmor will autonomously monitor all payloads and processes. If any of these are determined to be malicious, the payload is intercepted, encrypted, automatically quarantined, and moved to a secure location where it cannot run but is available for post-flight forensics.”