US Army Nixes Use of DJI Drones Over Cybersecurity Concerns

Pull Batteries Out and Uninstall Apps, Army Says

The U.S. Army will immediately stop using drones made by the world’s largest manufacturer, DJI of China, and has ordered that batteries and storage media be removed and applications uninstalled.

A publication focused on drones, sUAS News, broke the story after it obtained a U.S. Army memo hand-dated Aug. 2. The memo notes: “Due to increased awareness of cyber vulnerabilities associated with DJI products, it is directed that the U.S. Army halt use of all DJI products.”

The memo says DJI’s Unmanned Aircraft Systems are the most widely used commercial off-the-shelf drone used by the Army.

A statement from DJI says the Army gave it no prior warning of the ban. But it noted that governments around the world use DJI products for sensitive and mission critical operations.

“We are happy to work directly with any organization, including the U.S. Army, that has concerns about our management of cyber issues,” DJI says in its statement. “We’ll be reaching out to the U.S. Army to confirm the memo and to understand what is specifically meant by ‘cyber vulnerabilities.'”

sUAS News updated its story later saying the U.S. Army had confirmed the memo but said that the guidance is under review. It is unclear if that means the policy is in flux and could be reversed.

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