Drone over White House highlights security concerns

On Monday, a drone came down on the White House lawn, triggering a lockdown. By this afternoon, the Secret Service had spoken with the person who said he was responsible. But it still sparked concerns about another security breach.

Just after 3:00 a.m. Monday, a Secret Service agent heard a noise and saw a small "quad copter" flying low over the White House grounds. The device crashed on the southeast side of the complex.

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A small quad copter drone caused some concern when it crashed on the lawn of the White House.

CBS News

The president and First Lady are traveling overseas, but their daughters are in Washington.

There are strict flight restrictions around the White House, but small drones are hard to detect.

"The early indications are that it does not pose any sort of ongoing threat right now to anybody at the White House," said White House press secretary Josh Earnest.

But drones or unmanned aircraft systems are a potential security nightmare across the globe. In 2013, a drone was hovering over a crowd and then dropped at the feet of German chancellor Angela Merkel.

Law enforcement here in the U.S. is actively looking for a system that could disable a drone. Counterterrorism officials like New York City police Deputy Chief Salvatore DiPace believe the threats from drones are limitless, even to the point of carrying chemical weapons and guns.

"If the technology is there and you know, we're thinking it is and will be," said DiPace. "Guns, definitely. We've seen that, we've seen some paintball video. Very accurately hitting the targets with paintball."

In Monday's case, the drone was not weaponized, nor did it have a camera. The Secret Service says the drone's operators was using his for recreational purposes.

The Federal Aviation Administration is still developing regulations for commercial use.