Amass your own zombie drone army with the SkyJack hack

Serial hacker Samy Kamkar releases hardware and software specs for drone hobbyists to gain flight control from unsuspecting victims

That Parrot AR.Drone, inching closer and closer to your own, might seem harmless. Far from it, if its owner took some hacking lessons from serial hacker Samy Kamkar and decided to take over your unsuspecting drone.

Kamkar, who gained infamy for crashing social media site MySpace with a JavaScript exploit that added more than one million MySpace friends to his account, has a new trick up his sleeve. He created a device called SkyJack (we see what he did there) with a Raspberry Pi circuit board, a small battery and two wireless transmitters, which were then attached to the abovementioned AR.Drone quadcopter.

What were once seemingly innocent parts, when placed together and running a custom software, will target wireless signals of its fellow Parrot drones when the offending quadcopter goes near them. Once it latches onto the Wi-Fi network, SkyJack takes over the wireless connection, gaining unlimited control of the unmanned aerial vehicle and camera systems. The system is also capable of hijacking devices running on Linux or drones that are within radio range.

This is an epic prank in the making for next year’s April Fools’ Day, but other than giving a rude shock to your victims and the potential to ‘infect’ and build an army of drones under your control, such digital hijacking is perhaps too complex for the common man.

But if you do get your head around the technicalities, think of what you can achieve with this hack. Like hijacking Amazon’s Prime Air drones, as mentioned in Kamkar’s blog.

[Source: SkyJack via Ars Technica]

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