Last month at the Black Hat conference in London, information security company SensePost unveiled Snoopy, a tracking and profiling framework that can easily hack into mobile Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, and radio enabled devices. The most common target are Smartphones. Since Smartphones are constantly looking for ‘safe networks’ to join, Snoopy can quickly mimic a familiar digital signature and create a fictional copy of an existing network for your Smartphone, allowing it to auto-connect.
Oh, and did I mention that this software is open source? You can find it on GitHub, right here.
Once these devices have established a connection to Snoopy, it can steal any passwords or information that you access or store in your device. This includes, but is not limited to, social media details, email information and banking details. The creator of the software, Glenn Wilkinson told the BBC that he has been collecting data from security conferences that he has attended in the last year and a half. He even went as far as to take out his laptop and pull up information he had gathered at Black Hat and”showed that an attendee sitting in the back right corner of the keynote speech probably lived in a specific neighbourhood in Singapore. The software even provided a streetview photo of the smartphone user’s presumed address.”
Snoopy was primarily a ground-based program operating from computers and smart phones. But Wilkinson has now installed the software onto UAVs, such as some of DJI’s models, to quickly scan large areas for potential hack-able devices.
“You can also fly out of audio-visual range – so you can’t see or hear it, meaning you can bypass physical security – men with guns, that sort of thing,” he told the BBC.
In an attempt to protect people from these sophisticated drones, the United States Government directed the FAA, Federal Aviation Administration, to create and present guidelines and rules by 2015 for drones that may be permitted to operate within domestic airspace. While the potential applications for drones is staggering, so are the number of risks.
It should be noted however, that the FAA does not do anything to ensure privacy. They focus solely on the safety of the country, property, aircraft and civilians due to objects and vehicles traveling through the air. This means that at this moment, little is done to ‘police’ the use of drones; that is left to the local authorities to decide on a case by case basis.
Alan is serial entrepreneur, active angel investor, and a drone enthusiast. He co-founded DRONELIFE.com to address the emerging commercial market for drones and drone technology. Prior to DRONELIFE.com, Alan co-founded Where.com, ThinkingScreen Media, and Nurse.com. Recently, Alan has co-founded Crowditz.com, a leader in Equity Crowdfunding Data, Analytics, and Insights. Alan can be reached at alan(at)dronelife.com