Singapore Researchers have demonstrated their ability to hack into the wireless printer in a secured office located in a 30-story office building, using a Samsung smart phone attached to a standard drone from DJI. Wired Magazine reports that researchers at iTrust, a cybersecurity research center at the Singapore University of Technology and Design, developed applications for a smart phone attached to a drone allowing them to identify vulnerabilities in wireless networks.
The research was conducted as part of a government-sponsored cybersecurity defense project. The two researchers, Jinghui Toh and Hatib Muhammed, worked to expose the vulnerability of organizations dependent upon interior physical security at their location. The pair developed two apps: one which identifies open wi-fi printers for the purpose of attack, another which identifies targets for the purpose of defense. While the researchers used the phone attached to a drone to run the apps from outside the building, they point out that either program could be run from the interior, placed on a device such as a robotic vacuum.
The video demonstration provided with the research has prompted a flurry of writing in the cybersecurity industry, as experts rush to encourage clients to close the gaps before hackers grasp the exposed opportunity. Paul Paget, CEO of firm Pwnie Express, commented on the research:
… the wireless printer test has proven, potential attackers can easily use physical devices – both authorized and unauthorized – to infiltrate networks. This is an emerging attack vector that is only going to increase over the next few years as billions of devices enter the workplace. Companies need full visibility into what’s on their network and around their workplace, along with a way to continuously detect devices that are open pathways for attackers.
Miriam McNabb is the Editor-in-Chief of DRONELIFE and CEO of JobForDrones, a professional drone services marketplace, and a fascinated observer of the emerging drone industry and the regulatory environment for drones. Miriam has a degree from the University of Chicago and over 20 years of experience in high tech sales and marketing for new technologies.
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