Jose Lopes Esteves

Jose Lopes Esteves


Information Security researcher at ANSSI

Talk Title

Strategies to harden and neutralize UAV using RF DEW


During the last decade, unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) have been spreading in both civilian and military contexts. Their use is expanding rapidly and some models can be bought and flown very easily. Furthermore, the open source and DIY communities are extremely active on that topic, contributing to a true democratization of such technology. Along with this rapid adoption, malicious uses of UAVs have increased and the problem of their neutralization has become of high interest for security aware organizations. Several solutions are studied, among which the possibility of using radiofrequency directed energy weapons. On the other hand, civilian UAVs are getting more and more involved in critical contexts, bringing a need for security. For both offensive and defensive contexts, it is necessary to better understand the effects of intentional electromagnetic interference on drones.

This talk focuses on the technical trials and tribulations faced by the authors during the setup and the realization of IEMI susceptibility tests against common off the shelf UAVs. In order to get a fine grain understanding of the effects of IEMI at both physical and logical levels of the drone, a software instrumentation has been performed, implying a privileged access to the system. Some interesting results will also be provided about the effects observed on the target, and discussed regarding their criticality.


José Lopes Esteves (Speaker and Co-author) Information Security researcher at ANSSI. His main interests are embedded systems security and wireless security. Jose also gives lectures on those topics in French universities. Before that he worked as a security evaluator and a pentester in a French ITSEC

Emmanuel Cottais (Co-author) Electromagnetic Security researcher at ANSSI where he is working on threats related to spurious compromising emanations (TEMPEST).

Chaouki Kasmi (Co-author) Electromagnetic Security researcher at ANSSI at the time of this work where he was working on threats related to spurious compromising emanations (TEMPEST) and intentional electromagnetic interferences (IEMI).