A recent breakthrough by the maker community happens to be a Raspberry Pi-based “anti-drone gun”, which functions somewhat like a signal jammer.
The software, which uses a Raspberry Pi board, a WiFi card, and a tin can, is able to take down drones relying on WiFi signals. Raspberry Pi is a development board similar to the Arduino series, used in a growing number of Internet of Things applications.
The “anti-drone gun”, said to be built for educational purposes, consists of software scripts that make use of a tin can WiFi signal booster which is connected to a WiFi card. The WiFi card is then accessed by the Raspberry Pi, and the signal between the drone and the user can be cut, or taken over. Makeazine, a DIY website, tested this software on the Parrot AR.Drone 2.0.
Makeazine author Brent Chapman said that the AR.Drone interface suffers from several security flaws. “The AR.Drone 2.0 is so hack-able, in fact, that there are communities and competitions focused on modifying this particular drone,” he said. He also urged that makers should only use the anti-drone gun with permission of the drone user or to test their own UAVs.
Chapman also happens to be an active duty Army Cyber Warfare officer, and said that the tutorial is designed to help users recognize the security risks associated with using unprotected wireless communication networks. “This is just the tip of the iceberg; there are a number of things that an attacker could do- modifying or deleting system files, intercepting video and sensor feeds, rerouting the drone to alternate locations, or a combination of these,” he said.
There exists a project (the brainchild of hacker Samy Kamkar) that allows an attacker drone to autonomously seek out Parrot drones within WiFi range, disconnect the real user, and initiate a new connection controlled by the attacking drone.
“The end result, essentially, is an army of zombie drones,” Chapman said. Scary!