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Hardware Hacking Wireless Networking Build

Dutch Hackers Create Wi-Fi Sniffing Drone 81

An anonymous reader writes "The WASP, or Wireless Aerial Surveillance Platform, has been built out of a hobby-grade airframe and open source Ardupilot autopilot, reports sUASnews. In the words of the Rabbit-Hole website, it's a 'Small Scale, Open Source UAV using off the shelf components. Designed to provide a vehicle to project cyber-offensive and defensive capabilities, and visual / electronic surveillance over distance cheaply and with little risk.'" Want a drone of your own? The makers have some pointers to helpful resources.
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Dutch Hackers Create Wi-Fi Sniffing Drone

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  • by Barryke ( 772876 ) on Monday August 16, 2010 @05:07AM (#33261732) Homepage

    The photoslides end with a mere broken wing on the takeoff strip. Did it actually fly?

  • Anonymous Coward (Score:1, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward

    If you can't work out how to do this yourself without this article, it's going to be of no use to you anyway.

  • Yes but... (Score:2, Interesting)

    by Kildjean ( 871084 )

    Aren't all remote control aircraft (hobbyist planes in particular) UAV's?

    • by Buggz ( 1187173 )
      Indeed it is an unmanned aerial vehicle, but something tells me Infinity Ward has skewed the meaning of the acronym for quite a number of people.
    • Re:Yes but... (Score:5, Informative)

      by Anonymous Coward on Monday August 16, 2010 @05:27AM (#33261830)

      The meaning of "unmanned" extends to the pilot on the ground. UAVs don't have people on board and can fly more than a straight line in a controlled manner without immediate control input from a pilot on the ground. It's technically illegal to fly UAVs without visual contact in visual flight rules air space.

      • Re:Yes but... (Score:5, Insightful)

        by asynchronous13 ( 615600 ) on Monday August 16, 2010 @08:36AM (#33262426)

        It's technically illegal to fly UAVs without visual contact in visual flight rules air space.

        Not quite.

        The FAA controls the national airspace with a white-list approach. Everything is illegal unless a specific category of safe flight has been defined. AC 91-57 [] defines the Model Aircraft Operating Standards and creates a specific legal exemption for vehicles flown for recreational purposes. This exemption also applies to UAVs, provided they are flown for recreational purposes. However, there is no exemption for operating a UAV for commercial purposes. Even flying an R/C aircraft is illegal if the operator attaches a camera and attempts to sell the resulting aerial imagery!

        The FAA recognizes that people and companies other than modelers might be flying UAS with the mistaken understanding that they are legally operating under the authority of AC 91–57. AC 91–57 only applies to modelers, and thus specifically excludes its use by persons or companies for business purposes.
        -- from FAA–2006–25714, Unmanned Aircraft Operations in the National Airspace System; Notice of Policy; Opportunity for Feedback (FAA link to pdf is down right now)

        Technically, you or I could fly a 1:1 scale F-22 Raptor, but only if it were for recreational purposes.

  • I want one (Score:1, Offtopic)

    With lasers attached to it's head.

  • by qwerty8ytrewq ( 1726472 ) on Monday August 16, 2010 @05:16AM (#33261766) Journal
    This is cool, I love that the science fiction future is so present in our world right now, and the power of 'it is possible, so we did it this way' I am quite amused by the quote" You don’t have to join too many dots for potential misuse." and I look forward to outrageous innovative uses by paparazzi, peeping toms, pervs, police, pyromaniacs, pilferers, pidgeon racers......
  • What the hell? The link is to a flash applet that displays photos. WTF? Flash is on the way out as a technology, and unnecessarily using it for a photo gallery when HTML works just fine is one of the primary sins of idiots. And the photos are what, 100x150? Boo! Boo! Bad flash, bad developers!
    • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

      by zbyg ( 1662741 )
      Did you forget about the great features of Flash? If you choose Flash over HTML, you get:
      • up to 90% shorter page loading times, because Flash is compiled and HTML is not
      • increased security, because browsers are insecure, and plugins are secure by default
      • unbelievable and very powerfull accesibility features
      • a page which works and looks the same in any browser running on any computer


  • by hyades1 ( 1149581 ) <> on Monday August 16, 2010 @05:19AM (#33261782)

    It would have been nice to have a few camera-bearing drones bopping around over the recent G-20 meeting in Toronto, out of the immediate reach of gentlemen with badges, batons and guns. The police seem oddly selective about video evidence they use in court and video evidence that somehow goes missing whenever the defense requests it.

    • out of the immediate reach of gentlemen with badges, batons and guns.

      No such place.

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by Israfels ( 730298 )
      I'd be more worried about the "peaceful protesters" throwing stuff at my expensive flying camera.
  • Though I'm sure "real spy drones" already have this sort of capability, along with being able to sniff other spectrums. I guess you could use it to deliver payloads to wifi clients/routers and perform automated MITM attacks, but how are you supposed to use it as an antenna extender without using another longer-range wireless system to communicate with it? Using it to locate wifi clients seems redundant as they don't have that much of a range anyway, unless you couldn't locate the access point for some reaso
    • "but how are you supposed to use it as an antenna extender without using another longer-range wireless system to communicate with it?"

      I guess each time it finds an open WIFI spot, it sends the collected data (photos, videos) to its owner.

      • Yeah, but that still doesn't allow live packets to piggyback on it - very useful, if you're trying to use it for cyberwarfare (to hack into a site) using a wifi connection. If penetrating the site through some other connection was possible, why would you use the drone in the first place? Using static pre-loaded attacks that trigger only on a certain MAC/SSID/other concievable signature would be much more limiting.
    • by Goaway ( 82658 )

      how are you supposed to use it as an antenna extender without using another longer-range wireless system to communicate with it?

      Why "without"? You use a another longer-range wireless system to communicate with it, problem solved.

      • I suppose you could use a directional antenna from the ground, but you'd have to keep it stable and make it autotracking. And splice that together from off-the-shelf parts in the same price class as the drone itself, of course.
  • by Jah-Wren Ryel ( 80510 ) on Monday August 16, 2010 @05:19AM (#33261790)

    How about a hunter-killer drone that sniffs out other drones, homes in on their telemetrics and blows them up in a blazing fireball of glory!
    That's the kind of shit I want to see.

  • by Anonymous Coward
    if the drone finds an open network it tends to crash because its too busy looking at roboporn to actually control itself.
  • Enemy UAV spotted!

  • by FishTankX ( 1539069 ) on Monday August 16, 2010 @05:24AM (#33261818)

    im in ur hotspot
    sniffin' ur pornz

  • And where are the hardpoints for Hellfire missiles? Ah, cyber-offensive capabilities...

    • Ah, cyber-offensive capabilities...

      Is that where the drone uses a MITM attack to insert itself into an ICQ conversation as user "bloodninja"?

  • UAV's that work! (Score:5, Interesting)

    by fuzzel ( 18438 ) on Monday August 16, 2010 @06:16AM (#33261970) Homepage

    As that thing does not even seem to fly and people always like to see movies, check: [] for a huge amount of information about NG-UAVP's (Next Generation Universal Areal Video Platform) of course all open source hard and software.

    Multiple videos of WORKING drones over here: []

    Also, don't forget to check this cool cyber-cute overload: Quadrocopter Drone Has Its Own Little Home [] :)

    Btw, what is so special about adding a wireless card/stick to a drone and letting it sniff the airwaves? :)

  • This and Google. (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward

    What's the difference between this and Google sniffing wi-fi, and getting flack for it? Makes no sense why Google gets whacked for something like this.

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by LingNoi ( 1066278 )

      There is no difference and I find it funny how the horde of Google bashers and privacy nuts don't appear until there are certain keywords in a summary.

    • by rossdee ( 243626 )

      "What's the difference between this and Google sniffing wi-fi, and getting flack for it?"

      It is probably too small to hit with a full size Flak gun, probably the best thing would be one of those fully auto shotguns with the 29 round magazine

    • Ah, but you see: Dutch hackers Do No Evil.

      That's the difference.


  • by FudRucker ( 866063 ) on Monday August 16, 2010 @08:04AM (#33262268)
    if i see some little drones buzzing my home i will turn the garden hose on it.
  • Is it difficult to pilot because the Dutch makers forgot to give it a rudder?
  • Is that anything like the opium-smoking drones of the 19th Century or the cocaine-sniffing drones of today?
  • This would be ninja-class awesome when scaled down to delfly micro [] scale
  • by HeckRuler ( 1369601 ) on Monday August 16, 2010 @11:47AM (#33264298)
    Ahh, the age of cheap home-built UAVs. All sorts of applications. Like this wi-fi sniffing, which is pretty neat.

    But strap a modestly sized brick of C-4 and you have yourself a (very slow) smart missile.
  • I could do this much more anonymously and inexpensively with a backpack, a laptop, a GPS, and a pair of walking shoes. UAVs attract attention because, no matter who is launching them, people are generally suspicious that they're up to no good.

"Wish not to seem, but to be, the best." -- Aeschylus