Triathlete injured by “hacked” camera drone

A drone operated by a film company crashed onto the course of an Australian triathlon on Sunday, injuring one triathlete. The operator of the drone claims that he lost control because someone deliberately jammed his communication link.

The drone, which was collecting footage of the event, was flying about 30 feet above the course before the incident. Triathlete Raji Ogden told the Australian Broadcasting Company that the drone hit her in the back of the head early in the run portion of the Endure Batavia Triathlon in Geraldton, Australia. The impact caused several injuries to her head, one of which required three stitches.

The operator of the drone, Warren Abrams of New Era Photography and Film, claimed that the video from the drone showed that the drone fell behind Ogden on the trail, and he says the athlete fell after being startled. Abrams believes that someone deliberately interfered with his operation of the device from nearby—an attacker using a “channel hop” attack to take control away from him. He added that a similar incident caused him to lose control over the drone earlier in the day.

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