Published on March 9th, 2016 📆 | 5088 Views ⚑


Drone which can hack mobile devices to be revealed
An aerial drone with the ability to hack the mobile devices of unwitting users is to be unveiled at a conference on cyber security.

Named "Snoopy", the drone will be revealed on Wednesday at the Trading Securely for Business conference, where it will take part in active demonstrations to show how it can be used to steal data.

Snoopy and its creator, Glenn Wilkinson, are to be welcomed by the Scottish Business Resilience Centre (SBRC) ahead of conference in Edinburgh, which is being billed as the most comprehensive cyber security event ever to take place in Scotland.

The drone will be used to highlight the importance of protecting mobile devices, which criminals are increasingly targeting with a variety of techniques.

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Mr Wilkinson, an "ethical hacker" at security firm SensePost, believes that everyday use of Wi-Fi enabled devices can create opportunities for criminals.

He said: "The snoopy drone is able to hack devices which are constantly searching for Wi-Fi by duping them into connecting to the snoopy device.

"It is relatively simple software used by criminals worldwide - and it highlights an important point that we must make sure devices don't constantly search for Wi-Fi when it is not necessary or we can't be certain of what it is we are connecting to.

"The concerning thing is that it is increasingly the case that every device we carry emits unique signatures - and even pacemakers come with Wi-Fi today, what a bad idea!"

The technology targets mobile users with Wi-Fi running on their device, seeking an open connection.

These can frequently be disguised as recognised Wi-Fi networks such as Costa Coffee or BT Openzone.

This allows Snoopy to pick up information such as location data, passwords and banking information, as well as any photos or files stored on your phone.

A similar demonstration at a conference in America witnessed over 5,000 devices picked up by a single drone.

SBRC Director, Mandy Haeburn-Little, said that while so many people are dependent on working from Wi-Fi to save costs on data, they need to be aware of the threat.

Mandy said: "We are here to keep businesses up to speed with emerging threats and this is all about giving business the information it needs to keep their own data and that of the organisation safe.

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"This is the first time that the Snoopy drone is to visit Scotland. This visit will be a friendly one, but the software used and the methods being demonstrated are already available for anyone on the internet to make use of, for nefarious means."

She added: "Cyber crime can at times appear to be an unwinnable battle, but the reality is that often small steps can make a huge difference in limiting the likelihood or impact of an attack.

"This upcoming conference is hugely exciting. It will be the strongest ever gathering of global experts on the subject in one room, to discuss practical advice for any interested party."

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