SkyJack, A Drone That Hacks Other Drones


Photo by Neerav Bhatt

So just as Amazon has announced plans for drone delivery of packages hacker Samy Kamkar has dropped his hardware and software specs for building drones that would hunt out and hack other drones. Amazon hasn’t even started package delivery and already there’s a way to take down their whole drone army.

Ars Technica

Dubbed SkyJack, the contraption uses a radio-controlled Parrot AR.Drone quadcopter carrying a Raspberry Pi circuit board, a small battery, and two wireless transmitters. The devices run a combination of custom software and off-the-shelf applications that seek out wireless signals of nearby Parrot drones, hijack the wireless connections used to control them, and commandeer the victims’ flight-control and camera systems. SkyJack will also run on land-based Linux devices and hack drones within radio range. At least 500,000 Parrot drones have been sold since the model was introduced in 2010.

Kamkar is the creator of the infamous Samy worm, a complex piece of JavaScript that knocked MySpace out of commission in 2005 when the exploit added more than one million MySpace friends to Kamkar’s account. Kamkar was later convicted for the stunt. He has since devoted his skills to legal hacks, including development of the “evercookie,” a highly persistent browser cookie with troubling privacy implications. He has also researched location data stored by Android devices.

We’ll see what Amazon’s reaction to this will be. Probably better that this was introduced now, before widespread use of drones began. Perhaps Mr. Kamkar has a future with Amazon, I’m sure he knows methods to counter such drone attacks. Hit the link below for the source story.

Ars Technica

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