RPAS and cybersecurity


  • David Lindahl
  • Lars Westerdahl

Publish date: 2015-02-17

Report number: FOI-R--4046--SE

Pages: 67

Written in: Swedish


  • RPAS
  • Cybersecurity
  • Collaborative systems
  • Cyberattack
  • Cyberwar
  • Scenarios
  • exercise card.


The usage of remotely piloted aircrafts is something that has increased rapidly during the last 10-15 years. The military use of remotely piloted aircrafts has been a success, especially in the intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance (ISR) area. A system that controls remotely piloted aircrafts (RPAS) comprises several subsystems which need to work together. Most of these subsystems are under military control, but some will be maintained and operated by civilian authorities, especially when RPAS is introduced into controlled airspace. This report investigates how cyberattacks affect a remotely piloted aircraft, especially from a cyber-physical perspective. A cyber-physical system is one where instructions from a computer results in a physical change in the aircraft. An investigation of how remotely piloted aircrafts can be used in collaborations in the future is also performed. The results of the investigations show the need of viewing cybersecurity from a holistic perspective, where every system that comes into contact with the aircraft is included, whether military or non-military. The report also suggests a set of cyberattacks which can be used as an exercise card.