15 September 2011

AR.Drone Now is a Wi Fi Hacking Device

Probably you remember the Parrot AR.Drone, a flying device that can be remotely controlled by an iPhone. Besides its ability of flying, it includes some other features such as video gaming and augmented reality. The AR.Drone holds a number of sensors, a front and vertical camera and an ultrasound altimeter. As it flies, AR.Drone can capture photos and record streaming video and all these can be done just by an application on your iPhone that helps you to pilot the device and switch between cameras.

Recently, a team from the Stevens Institute of Technology created a modified version of AR.Drone that can automatically detect and compromise wireless networks. This device is able to find a weak spot in an Internet connection, flies close near the target, land there and attacks all networks around it. Sven Dietrich is an assistant professor of Computer Science at Stevens, who led the development of the drone. The team members behind this high tech device call it SkyNET and represented their drone at the USENIX Workshop on Offensive Technologies. What they showed was a quadricopter that costs less than $400, capable of carrying a lightweight computer loaded with wireless reconnaissance and attack software.

The drone can even generate and control a network of compromised computers (botnet). The hacker who controls the system can enter the commands through the drone, instead of using a server on the Internet. Using this method the hacker makes an air gap between two systems or networks, preventing investigators from identifying the attacker.

SkyNET is a stealth network that connects hosts to a botmaster through a mobile drone. The network is comprised of machines on home Wi-Fi networks in a proximal urban area, and one or more autonomous attack drones. The SkyNET is used by a botmaster to command their botnet(s) without using the Internet. The drones are programmed to scour an urban area and compromise wireless networks. Once compromised, the drone attacks the local hosts. When a host is compromised it joins both the Internet-facing botnet, and the sun-facing SkyNET. 

They just converted the AR.Drone into a pretty cool Wi-Fi hacking device that can control the infected machines without no trace back to the attacker! The team members tried to create a drone that makes no noises as an ordinary drone makes, so it does not attract any attention. SkyNET can fly only 20 minutes but they hope that with improving the battery (like using solar power), it can even stay several days on the site, near the compromised target.