A Survey of Cyberattack Countermeasures for Unmanned Aerial Vehicles

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14 Scopus citations


Unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) has been increasingly used in a wide range of commercial and civilian applications. As an advanced cyber-physical system, UAVs are exposed to a wide range of cyberattacks. This paper first surveys existing literature for different cyberattacks. Then, we classify these attacks based on their attack entry points, which can be radio channels, messages or on-board systems. There are six classes of UAV cyberattacks, namely channel jamming, message interception, message deletion, message injection, message spoofing and on-board system attack. In the existing literature, there is no survey focusing on UAV cyberattack countermeasures. To close this gap, we survey existing countermeasures for the six attack classes. A comprehensive review of countermeasures is important because countermeasure may not be exclusive to an attack. Knowing a wide range of existing countermeasures can prepare us against existing and new cyberattacks. We classify countermeasure into three classes, namely prevention, detection and mitigation. Prevention countermeasures stop a cyberattack from starting. When prevention countermeasures fail, detection countermeasures alert UAV operator of an attack. After detecting an attack, mitigation countermeasures limits the damage. Following the survey, we further discuss the open challenges in developing countermeasures and propose some potential future research works.

Original languageBritish English
Pages (from-to)148244-148263
Number of pages20
JournalIEEE Access
StatePublished - 2021


  • countermeasure
  • cyberattack
  • Cybersecurity
  • drone
  • UAV
  • unmanned aerial vehicle


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