Student research reaches major news channels

In 2015 the student Nils Rodday defended his master’s thesis entitled “Exploring Security Vulnerabilities of Unmanned Aerial vehicles” that has been done under the supervision of Ricardo de O. Schmidt and Aiko Pras from DACS, and with support from Matthieu Paques and Ruud Verbij from KPMG.

In collaboration with a manufacturer, Nils investigated the vulnerabilities of a professional UAV (a.k.a. drone). Among his findings, the student discovered that the chip used for the telemetry link between the drone and its remote controllers allowed for an attacker to compromise the device from a distance up to 2 km.

Nils research has gained lots of attention from media, mainly after his presentation at the RSA Conference in San Francisco, USA, which happened on Tuesday, March 2. Interviews were given for Wired and Forbes that first reported Nils’ work (links below). After their releases, and a short summary being published at, many other major news channels and technology forums picked up the story, resulting in many publications in multiple languages around the world. Examples are BBC, Washington Times,, NOS, and Yahoo.

Nils will still present and demonstrate his research on March 31 at Black Hat Asia, in Singapore, and on April 28 at the academic conference IFIP/IEEE NOMS, in Istanbul.


Hacker says he can hijack a $35K police drone a mile away - by Wired


Police drone can be commandeered from over a mile away, hacker claims - by Forbes


Police drone can be hacked with $40 kit, says researcher - by BBC