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An unmarked drone tried to attack the US power grid last year and it almost succeeded

Attacks like this one are likely to become more of a problem in the future.

dji mavic 2 drone
Image: DJI

In case the massive and deadly military drones that have been developed over the years aren’t scary enough, it looks like we should start worrying about smaller, personal drones as well. A new intelligence report tells how a consumer drone launched a solo attack on the United States power grid last year and almost succeeded.

According to a joint intelligence bulletin initially obtained by ABC News, the incident took place more than a year ago, in July of 2020. An unmarked DJI Mavic 2 drone approached a Pennsylvania substation with a copper wire suspended from a couple of ropes hanging beneath.

The plan? To disrupt the power grid by creating a short circuit using the wire hanging from the Mavic 2 drone. Fortunately, that plan didn’t work out so well, as the drone ended up crashing on a nearby rooftop, damaging its propellers.

The operator of the drone was never found. The Mavic 2 was completely stripped of any kind of identifiable markings, like serial numbers or SKU tags. The drone was also missing its onboard camera and the internal memory card – seemingly additional steps to conceal the operator’s identity.

To be completely frank, I would be surprised if this is the only incident like this that has happened in recent years. Chances are that this is just the one that the government wants to let us know about right now.

As more and more drones enter the air, this will continue to be a growing issue for the US government, both internationally and domestically.

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Staff writer at KnowTechie. Alex has two years of experience covering all things technology, from video games to electric cars. He's a gamer at heart, with a passion for first-person shooters and expansive RPGs. Shoot him an email at alex@knowtechie.com

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