What is Secure Boot in Drones

Drones are being used in almost every application nowadays. Therefore, number of drones in sky are growing continuously. As number of drones are increasing, risk with drones is increasing day by day. Even a small drone if misused can create havoc situation in any country.  Therefore, drone security is most important aspect for everyone. 

Drone Firmware is the most important part in any drone and if it compromised, any havoc situation can be created. Therefore, it is important to secure firmware of each drone. Before every flight, it is important to check integrity of firmware. Since by modifying parameters of firmware, drone can be misused, therefore ensuring firmware security is most important aspect in drone. So, the process which ensures that drone is booting with right firmware is called as secure boot. If drone is powered on with compromised firmware, then it can be misused, and havoc situation can be created.  

How do you ensure that your drone boots with secured firmware only? This is very important aspect for drone security. Answer is, it is done using boot loader program of your drone. Bootloader program is stored in flight controller hardware and it is run even before running drone firmware. As soon as your drone is powered on, the bootloader program in drone check the checksum of the firmware. The checksum of firmware has two parts. One is checksum of code part of firmware and second is checksum of data part of firmware. During firs time setup process, OEM (manufacturer of drone) has to put data and code checksum of firmware inside each drone. Then at every booting of drone, the boot loader validates the firmware against the firmware’s original code and data checksum. When bootloader finds that both checksums of firmware are right then only it allows drone to boot and operate further. If bootloader finds mismatch in firmware data and code checksum, then it doesn’t allow drone to operate further. 

This ensures that drone is always powered on with right firmware and therefore drone cannot be compromised and misused by anyone. 

So, start ensuring your drone’s firmware security now.   

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