The idea behind drone registration is to add a level of responsibility and accountability to drone users. Basically if you screw up, it can be traced back to you. However it seems that it is possible that those looking to do bad things could hijack the drone, make it do whatever they want, and not have it traced back to them.
According to a report from Ars Technica, during the PacSec security conference in Tokyo, researchers demonstrated how a tiny device would allow them to easily hijack a drone mid-flight and lock the pilot out, essentially commandeering the drone and using it for their own purposes, or just to crash them if they so desired. The scary thing is that this hack works on any drone that uses the DSMx protocol, which apparently is commonly used by hobbyist drones, planes, helicopters, cars, and boats.
It also seems that this hack isn’t new, but it is apparently the first time it has ever been presented in a complete package to the public, according to Robi Sen, the founder of counter-drone product maker Department 13. The good news is that for now, the devices used by the researchers in the demonstration aren’t available to the public, meaning it’s not like you could head to a local electronics store and buy one off the shelves.
However the worrying aspect of this is that now that it has been revealed, hackers could start trying to figure out other means to exploit the DSMx protocol. While this does sound pretty scary, the bright side is that it could potentially be used for good as well, such as by law enforcement personnel who could commandeer rogue drones flying in areas that they don’t they access to.