by Richard Press, NIST
Aerial drones might someday deliver online purchases to your home. But in some prisons, drone delivery is already a thing. Drones have been spotted flying drugs, cell phones and other contraband over prison walls, and in several cases, drug traffickers have used drones to ferry narcotics across the border.
If those drones are captured, investigators will try to extract data from them that might point to a suspect. But there are many types of drones, each with its own quirks, and that can make data extraction tricky. It would help if investigators could instantly conjure another drone of the same type to practice on first, and while that may not be possible, they can now do the next best thing: download a “forensic image” of that type of drone.