Drone Forensics: A Case Study of Digital Forensic Investigations Conducted on Common Drone Models

Khalifa Al-Room, Farkhund Iqbal, Thar Baker, Babar Shah, Benjamin Yankson, Aine MacDermott, Patrick C. K. Hung

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Drones (a.k.a. unmanned aerial vehicles – UAV) have become a societal norm in our daily lives. The ability of drones capture high-quality photos from an aerial view and store and transmit such data presents a multi-facet problem. These actions possess privacy challenges to innocent users who can be spied on or drone owner's data which may be intercepted by a hacker. With all technological paradigms, utilities can be misused, and this is an increasing occurrence with drones. As a result, it is imperative to develop a novel methodological approach for the digital forensic analysis of a seized drone. This paper investigates six brands of drones commonly used in criminal activities and extracts forensically relevant data such as location information, captured images and videos, drones' flight paths, and data related to the ownership of the confiscated drone. The experimental results indicate that drone forensics would facilitate law enforcement in collecting significant information necessary for criminal investigations.
Original languageEnglish
Number of pages25
JournalInternational Journal of Digital Crime and Forensics
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Jan 2021

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