DIY Drone Plane: Hack Wifi, Phone calls

Every year, at BlackHat, DefCon conference, several new hacks, cracks and vulnerabilities are exposed for the popularly used technology, blowing away the users and geeks alike.

Two security researchers, Mike Tassey and Richard Perkins,  have unleashed a complete DIY methodology to Launch your personal, specially equipped WASP (Wireless Aerial Surveillance Platform) drone that to flys overhead and sniff Wi-Fi network, intercept cellphone calls, or launch denial-of-service attacks with jamming signals.

This drone plane runs on Arduino and would cost you $6,000. This drone is based on FMQ-117B U.S. Army target drone and equipped it with Wi-Fi and hacking tools — IMSI catcher and antenna to spoof a GSM cell tower and hack calls. What’s more? It can launch a dictionary attack on the network using its database of 340million words.

GSM Hack to break into voice calls has been floating around for a while, and that’s what inspires these security researchers. Recommended read: How to Hack GSM Nework, Phone

The device onboard tricks phones to disable encryption, and records call details and content before they’re routed to their intended receiver through VoIP or redirected to anywhere else the hacker wants to send them.

Drone plane weighs 5Kgs and is 2.5m long and is quiet enough to spy on anyone, without trouble. You know, its US military drone, designed to be quiet. It can be automated to travel through programmed GPS coordinates and Google Earth, whole thing is self-driven apart from take off and landings which need to be controlled.


While such a drone may violate a few flying laws, it doesn’t break any FCC regulations as it uses the HAM radio frequency band or a 3G connection for communication. As to the reason for building it, creators Mike Tassey and Richard Perkins just wanted to prove there is a vulnerability that can easily be taken advantage of with a UAV such as this. It can easily cover 10,000 sq. ft of area using its inboard basestation.

WASP is an open source platform called Auto Pilot using Arduino that Tassey will discuss how to build at DEFCON-19 next week. It was originally unveiled last August with the following video giving you a close up view and interview with the creators

Update: Instructions to Build this drone

Endless Possibilities

Darker side:
Its pretty much obvious that if two security researchers can collaborate to create such a destructive element for communications, wonder how strong could it be when its in terrorists hands.

Hackers would use them to fly above corporations to steal data like confidential IP (intellectual property) or may be launch a DoS attack or jam the cellphone signals of a corporation, without letting anyone know.

You can stop a car, a person from coming into your facility, but what about things that fly overhead? These drones can not just broadcast jamming signal, they can laser focus specific users in crowd.

If you think about positive aspects of such drones, they can prove out to be quiet helpful during natural disasters when other communications break. They can be bagged with more sensors, cameras and help army in critical missions, possibilities are endless.

Related: DIY GSM Cellular Data Network

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