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Criminals Used a Fleet of Drones To Disrupt an FBI Hostage Operation (fortune.com) 61

Criminals have discovered another use for drones -- to distract and spy on law enforcement. From a report: They recently tried to thwart an FBI hostage rescue, Joe Mazel, chief of the FBI's operational technology law unit, said this week, according to a report by news site Defense One. Mazel, speaking at the AUVSI Xponential drone conference in Denver, said that criminals launched a swarm of drones at an FBI rescue team during an unspecified hostage situation near a large U.S. city, confusing law enforcement. The criminals flew the drones at high speed over the heads of FBI agents to drive them away while also shooting video that they then uploaded to YouTube as a way to alert other nearby criminal members about law enforcement's location.
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Criminals Used a Fleet of Drones To Disrupt an FBI Hostage Operation

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  • by Anonymous Coward

    Its not going to be long before someone figures out how to strap a bomb on a drone and attack a crowd or fly it into a building and set it off. Its just a matter of marrying two existing things together to attack. The only way to counter something like this would be a signal jammer of some kind. All the more reason we need better control and tracking of drones.

    • No needs to âoefigure outâ how to do that. Anyone who builds DIY drones could do it without a second thought.

    • by Anonymous Coward

      See Hawaii Five-0 S12E15 "The Flight of the Jewels" released on March 1, 1980.

    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by Anonymous Coward

      One can only hope that they would be that stupid. Drones can't carry much of any payload, a few pounds at most. Which makes for a pretty wimpy IED strapped to an extremely expensive piece of electronics. For example, you can buy a $1,000 drone and strap maybe a one or two pounds of explosives to it (a hand grenade worth maybe) and maybe kill a few people, or you can buy a junker car for $500 and load it with hundreds of pounds of explosives and kill dozens.

      • by Cederic ( 9623 )

        Car bombs are effective but difficult to get through checkpoints and next to high value targets.

        Get 20 home built $400 drones to suddenly pop over the right fence and you've achieved global headlines.

        • I can't see it. On one hand you've got rotors, wimpy but reusable and comparatively hard to make, on the other you have rockets, not reusable but lift more, and pretty simple to make. Cheap guided rockets might be a terrorist thing, but any drone that can carry enough to be a threat is too valuable to blow up.

      • For example, you can buy a $1,000 drone and strap maybe a one or two pounds of explosives to it (a hand grenade worth maybe) and maybe kill a few people

        Two things:

        1. You can build an equally capable drone for far less than $1,000. You don't need a fancy 4k camera and you don't need a lot of the hardware and software intended to make them appealing for home users, plus you don't need to make them look pretty. You could build your "hand-grande drone" for $250 easy; less if you're making a bunch of them.

        2. While people tend to think of quadrocopters when discussing drones, fixed-winged models can carry a lot more payload. If you're looking to build a sui

  • "Just trust us"! (Score:5, Insightful)

    by whoever57 ( 658626 ) on Friday May 04, 2018 @07:47PM (#56556836) Journal

    'The incident remains âoelaw enforcement-sensitive,â Mazel said Wednesday, declining to say just where or when it took place. But it shows how criminal groups are using small drones for increasingly elaborate crimes.'

    Just trust us that this took place.

    This, from the same organization that keeps claiming that encryption on cell phones should be open to the FBI and that this doesn't present any risk to normal users' security.

    • Just trust us that this took place.

      I do trust them that it took place. I mean this is such an obvious criminal use for drones that it has been part of many movies and TV series. And we do know for certain that drones are already used by criminals for some thing.

      I fully believe it happened.
      I don't support any efforts to prevent it on a legislative level.
      If the FBI is worried about this they should take measures to protect themselves in their local space (signal jamming, buckshot, net gun, etc)

    • The edgy "but muh FBI" is really starting to get fucking tedious. Whether or not you are just an emotionally immature autist, or yet another organized crime whataboutism troll, the fact of the matter remains that you people live in denial about the reality of how the world operates. The irony of course being that I bet you're a "Blue Lives Matter" MAGAt. Fucking disgraceful.
  • It wasn't exactly for this reason that my great grandfather kept a shotgun loaded with rock salt, but I think it would work here, too.
    • by swb ( 14022 )

      I have yet to meet someone who actually has a shotgun "loaded with rock salt."

      Rock salt isn't available in any commercial loads I've ever seen and I can't think of what you'd actually shoot it at. It's so light that it would have little terminal effect outside maybe 20'. At point blank ranges it would probably produce a nasty wound or even be fatal but would you want to face down someone with real ammunition bearing only rock salt? Or have to explain to the cops how maiming someone amounts to self defens

      • I heard about it too from my grandpa. They did a lot of reloading, I have no idea how they did it, but reportedly at a certain range it could be shot at animals without seriously wounding them but it would shoe them off.

      • Well, Never met anyone. Well, you did now.
        I got shot at with a load of rock salt ( It's road salt ).
        The only purpose is
        A) to scare the shit out of you and
        B) give you a set of welt's and bruise and cut's and a who lot of pain ( and blind an eye or both )

        Got shot by a railroad track employee back in '82 who thought I was stealing from a box car.

        Painful as heck, where it broke the skin i saw screaming like if it was iodine, how I know it's road salt is because it was in my was in my winter jacket.

      • Not quite what you're thinking of, but I love the Bug-A-Salt [amazon.com], which fires a near-invisible puff of table salt at flying insects. Better than a flyswatter, doesn't splatter the bug, but brings them down. Also good for spiders that sends my lady screaming. Nowadays, when she sees a spider, she screams, and then grabs the Bug-A-Salt and downs the spider. Take that!

        It's so great that I actually hope to see some houseflies around the home. Disappointingly, they have generally steered clear.

  • by Anonymous Coward

    This "article" is so insane I'm surprised the author was able to type it as I'm sure they were laughing so hard they couldn't keep their hands on the keyboard. Kind of reminds me of the NYC case where a police helicopter claimed that a drone came straight after them doing maneuvers a modern fighter jet would have trouble accomplishing. Later FAA radar proved that it was the police who went after the drone at much more mundane speed. Or that case (it was in a park over a river of some kind) where a police

  • Due to an uprising of drone discontent in zone 37, All you're drone are belong to us!
  • "The criminals flew the drones at high speed over the heads of FBI agents to drive them away while also shooting video that they then uploaded to YouTube as a way to alert other nearby criminal members about law enforcement's location."

    That's criminals for you - All criming together in spontaneous coordinated multi-felony attacks. It's for real. You need to watch a this segment from a 80's crime documentary, then think about what would have happened with drones AND encryption! https://www.youtube.com/wat

    • by Jahoda ( 2715225 )
      Let me see if I understand you: you believe that organized crime does not exist and that criminal organizations such as the carel that kidnapped the man in Houston are too dumb/naive to use off the shelf electronics to enhance their surveillenace and intelligence capabities? LOL, ok buddy. Enjoy your fantasy world there in Hobbiton. Again, the complete disconnect you nutjobs have from reality would be charming if it wasn't so patently stupid.
  • Or just the FBI doing it to themselves?
  • People could have disrupted the Waco incident ... which over 60% of US citizens believe was criminally botched by the Clinton FBI.

    Fasts forward a couple decades and the DoJ is trying to oust an elected president so it can GOVERN-SPLAIN to voters they aren't qualified to pick their own leaders.

Q: How many IBM CPU's does it take to execute a job? A: Four; three to hold it down, and one to rip its head off.