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Sunday, February 9, 2014

Hacking Drones

From the BBC:

Independent IT security analyst Samy Kamkar showed that taking control of a civilian drone was possible in December 2013. He equipped a Parrot AR Drone 2.0 with a tiny Raspberry Pi computer, a battery and two wireless transmitters. The microcomputer ran a simple piece of software, which directed the drone to search for the wi-fi signals used to control nearby Parrot drones. Once his drone had found a victim, the program used the wireless transmitters to sever the target drone’s link to its owner and took control. According to Kamkar, a handheld computer on the ground can do the trick too. 
[Professor Todd] Humphreys calls Kamkar’s work “a clever hack” and predicts that “it won't be the last one against commercial drones; hackers will find flaws and exploit them.” 
David Mascarenas, who works for the National Security Education Center at Los Alamos National Labs, agrees. As drones are nothing but flying computers, he says they “have the potential to exhibit never before seen security flaws that couple both cyber and physical security concerns.”
The rest of the article discusses concerns that U.S. military drones may be hacked, and efforts that are being taken to address this possible danger. This story illustrates how a wider view of cybersecurity is needed as technology develops. Computers will increasingly be a part of new technology, such as drones, and are increasingly becoming a part of old technology, such as household appliances. This expansion of computer technology necessitates a corresponding expansion of cybersecurity programs and tactics.

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