Round-up of Drone Incidents and Attacks in the First Half of 2022

July 19, 2022 | Meryl Dzikansky

Military forces, airports, borders, and prisons all saw notable dangerous drone incidents

While 2022 has seen drones continue to become integrated into society with increasing adoption of various applications, the first half of 2022 has also seen an increased number of nefarious and careless incidents, highlighting the double-edged sword of drones in society today.

Since 2021, I have been tracking drone incidents and attacks from many public domain sources and information providers such as DroneSec and others, watching and monitoring both malicious and careless operators as they pose a constant threat. In the first half of 2022, weaponized drone attacks, as well as their illicit or reckless use, have been on the rise. Most rogue drone activities took place in sensitive environments, including military, airports, border crossings, and prisons. It is important to highlight that there are many incidents worldwide that are not made public for security reasons or simply don’t make the news.

Let’s look at some of the most noteworthy incidents covered in the public domain across different sectors around the world in the past six months:

Military Drone Arsenal

As the fight between Russia and Ukraine intensifies, drones are transforming the rules of war. As Forbes explains:

“Consumer drones, in particular those made by Chinese company DJI, have proven invaluable in this conflict for intelligence gathering, directing artillery, and helping [Ukrainian] foot soldiers stalk and destroy Russian armor, not to mention dropping grenades on unsuspecting Russian troops.”

The use and adaptation of drones for military purposes have escalated to the extent that DJI issued a statement in response.

Here are just a few examples of occurrences and resulting damage:

And in other countries –

Unsafe Airspace at Airports

Unauthorized drones have also caused disruptions and delays at airports worldwide through near-collisions:

Battling Drones at Border Crossings

The smuggling of drugs and contraband across international borders via drones has been headline-grabbing events on three continents:

Drones Plaguing Prisons

The US and Canada topped the list of countries where drones are used to smuggle contraband into prisons, although other countries like Brazil, the Netherlands, and the UK are dealing with the same issue:

Dulling the Double-Edged Sword

History shows that bad actors will always try to use technology to their advantage. So, what can be done to mitigate the threat of rogue drones and ensure safer airspace while still enabling the use of authorized ones?

A next-generation approach to cyber drone detection and takeover mitigation can help achieve controlled outcomes with safe results.

Enjoy your drones this summer and fly them safely!


Meryl Dzikansky is a marketing communications specialist at D-Fend Solutions with a strong analytical and communication background. While closely monitoring drone incidents throughout the world, she focuses on creative thinking, branding, and effective content.

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