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

  • business meeting (Monkey Business Images/Shutterstock.com)

    Civic tech volunteers help states with legacy systems

    As COVID-19 exposed vulnerabilities in state and local government IT systems, the newly formed U.S. Digital Response stepped in to help. Its successes offer insight into existing barriers and the future of the civic tech movement.

  • data analytics (Shutterstock.com)

    More visible data helps drive DOD decision-making

    CDOs in the Defense Department are opening up their data to take advantage of artificial intelligence and machine learning tools that help surface insights and improve decision-making.

Stay Connected