The technological advance of drone technology has augmented the existing capabilities of flying vehicles rendering them a valuable asset of the modern society. As more drones are expected to occupy the airspace in the near future, security-related incidents, either malicious acts or accidents, will increase as well. The forensics analysis of a security incident is essential, as drones are flying above populated areas and have also been weaponised from radical forces and perpetrators. Thus, it is an imperative need to establish a Drone Digital Forensics Investigation Framework and standardise the processes of collecting and processing such evidence.
Although there are numerous drone platforms in the market, the same principles apply to all of them; just like mobile phones. Nevertheless, due to the nature of drones, standardised forensics procedures to date do not manage to address the required processes and challenges that such investigations pose. Acknowledging this need, we detail the unique characteristics of drones and the gaps in existing methodologies and standards, showcasing that there are fundamental issues in terms of their forensics analysis from various perspectives, ranging from operational and procedural ones, and escalate to manufacturers, as well as legal restrictions. The above creates a very complex environment where coordinated actions must be made among the key stakeholders. Therefore, this work paves the way to address these challenges by identifying the main issues, their origins, and the needs in the field by performing a thorough review of the literature and a gap analysis.
Authors: Evangelos Mantasa; Constantinos Patsakis
Date of Publication: July 2022