Ex-employee of drone maker DJI sentenced to prison for leaking trade secrets

The Shenzhen Intermediate People’s Court has ruled that a former employee of  DJI, the world’s largest drone maker, infringed the company’s trade secrets by uploading source codes to

The Shenzhen Intermediate People’s Court has ruled that a former employee of  DJI, the world’s largest drone maker, infringed the company’s trade secrets by uploading source codes to a public repository on Github, Chinese news portal Ycwb.com reported on Sunday.

The ex-employee said that he did this simply because he wasn’t aware of doing anything illegal, not out of bad intentions. At that time, he was in charge of developing DJI’s agricultural drone management platform and agricultural machinery spraying system.

DJI started investigating sources of vulnerability after security researchers uncovered several loopholes in DJI software and managed to obtain sensitive data, as part of DJI’s own bug bounty program. DJI then found a connection between the codes made public by its former employee and these successful hacks. Even though the employee had removed the codes once this connection became apparent, he was sentenced to half-year in prison and RMB 200,000 (USD 29,711.9) in compensation for DJI.

The drone maker claimed that it had suffered an RMB 1.16 million (USD 172,918.4) loss from the incident.

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