Homemade drone can snoop nearly anywhere

Two researchers showed off a drone at the Black Hat security conference in Las Vegas that they say could track people, detonate dirty bombs, sniff out Wi-Fi connections or otherwise induce mayhem, Wired's Kim Zetter reports.

Security researchers Mike Tassey and Richard Perkins built the Wireless Aerial Surveillance Platform, or WASP, by spending about $6,000 to augment two surplus Army drones, Zetter writes. As required by the Federal Aviation Administration, the drone must fly no higher than 400 feet and must remain within sight. However, that is more than enough wiggle room for criminals, terrorists and other purveyors of chaos to maximize the potential of a drone equipped with technology that can find wireless networks and spoof cell phone towers, among other things, Zetter writes.

In the right hands, Zetter writes, the drone could help rescuers find missing hikers or form a mesh network in a disaster zone.

However, Tassey said at the conference that if the two researchers can create such a drone, well-funded criminal organizations — or nationally funded spy programs — could do so just as easily. In the Wired article, Zetter includes a video that shows the WASP drone in action.

About the Author

Connect with the GCN staff on Twitter @GCNtech.

Featured

  • Records management: Look beyond the NARA mandates

    Pandemic tests electronic records management

    Between the rush enable more virtual collaboration, stalled digitization of archived records and managing records that reside in datasets, records management executives are sorting through new challenges.

  • boy learning at home (Travelpixs/Shutterstock.com)

    Tucson’s community wireless bridges the digital divide

    The city built cell sites at government-owned facilities such as fire departments and libraries that were already connected to Tucson’s existing fiber backbone.

Stay Connected