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CNN journalist evades DJI GEO restrictions in Iraq


A big fanfare from around the world last week as Kevin Finisterre revealed that DJI had initiated no-fly zones for war-torn areas. DJI drones are being used to drop primitive ordinance with deadly results.

Fast forward one week and CNN reporter Gabriel Chaim used the old tinfoil trick to cover the GPS on his DJI Mavic and fool the GPS. If it can’t see the sky it does not know where it is and so will not obey any no fly zones.

This method has long been used by commercial drone photographers to fly in airspace that they are having trouble unlocking.

Will DJI now issue a mandatory firmware update that stops DJI craft lifting at all if they can’t see an X number of satellites and confirm their position? I doubt it as that will stop you flying indoors and cause all sorts of issues for commercial users in peaceful parts of the world.

To view the footage and story head off to CNN here

It’s actually not much of an NFZ in Mosul, 2297m around the airfield.

No doubt Kevin will speak about this later this week at the sUSB Expo where he is due to tell us all about CUAS. Who knew when he agreed to come talk that he would be making all the major drone news.

Well done Kevin!

I do feel sorry for DJI, this is a by-product of being the most successful drone manufacturer by a wide margin.

For those that don’t know Kevin has spent most of his as a team lead of penetration testers. His previous job functions have included web application vulnerability assessments, network vulnerability assessments, social engineering and exploit development. He reckons he has successfully hacked into everything from police car DVR systems to casino electronic cash boxes and money counters.

His most recent research efforts have centred around UAS autopilot hardware and software design, as well as the development of counter UAS (CUAS) exploitation techniques.

He is currently employed by Department 13 Counter UAS team.

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