Emails leaked between Hacking Team, an Italian spyware vendor, and Insitu, a subsidiary of Boeing, revealed that UAVs armed with malware designed to infect nearby computers through Wi-Fi are in development. These drones have the ability to spread malware while flying over unsecured Wi-Fi networks.
Insitu had previously discussed drones that carry spyware and was trying to team up with Hacking Team to develop a malware infesting drone. The whole point was to create a drone that could intercept communications and hack on the fly through a Wi-Fi connection. This project however did not pan out the way both parties wanted because there was a failure to accept a non-disclosure agreement. Both parties’ lawyers were not on the same page as far as the agreement was concerned.
The email leaked between Hacking Team and Insitu revealed that the Boeing subsidiary was interested in integrating the hacker’s Wi-Fi hacking technology into airborne vehicles. It wanted to continue the conversation and discuss it further with an engineer from Hacking Team. In this discussion, they would go over the details regarding the payload capabilities and power specs of the system.
While Insitu was bent on getting an agreement signed, Hacking Team informed the company that it would take more time and consideration to review the document. At the end, there just wasn’t an agreement between the two parties and communication went silent. However, this email is enough to put genuine fear in people. Fear that Wi-Fi networks may be more vulnerable now than ever because if drones have the ability to hack into them, then we’re technically all just sitting ducks.
At the same time, we encourage the use of drones, but for positive aspects so that humanity as a whole can take advantage of these airborne vehicles.