Theses and Dissertations


Khan, Samee

Committee Member

Ball, John E.

Committee Member

Jones, Bryan A.

Committee Member

McNutt, Shawn

Date of Degree


Original embargo terms

Immediate Worldwide Access

Document Type

Graduate Thesis - Open Access


Electrical and Computer Engineering

Degree Name

Master of Science (M.S.)


James Worth Bagley College of Engineering


Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering


As unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) increasingly become integral to surveillance and reconnaissance (S&R) operations, their susceptibility to cyber threats poses significant risks to operational integrity. The current cybersecurity protocols often fail to address UAV operations’ unique vulnerabilities and challenges in S&R contexts, highlighting a gap in specialized cybersecurity strategies. This research adapts the MITRE ATTACK framework to enhance cybersecurity approaches, safeguarding UAVs against evolving cyber threats. This thesis maps existing vulnerabilities against comprehensive tactics, techniques, and procedures (TTPs) through a scenario-based analysis. Hypothetical and practical S&R operation case studies demonstrate the applicability of proposed cybersecurity strategies, validating their effectiveness in mitigating specific threats and the need for more specified cybersecurity protocols. The findings advocate for continuous innovation and vigilance in UAV cybersecurity, contributing to the protection of UAVs in S&R missions and emphasizing the dynamic nature of cybersecurity challenges in UAV operations.