Monday, 08 Aug, 2011 Technology

WASP Drone - DIY Spy Plane Able to Intercept Phone Calls


Mike Tassey and Richard Perkins are two security experts who managed to create a unmanned flying vehicle called WASP drone. The name of the drone is short fro Wireless Aerial Surveillance Platform and it was developed to demonstrate how easy it is to fly overhead capturing Wi-Fi signals, intercepting cell phone calls, or initiating denial-of-service attacks.

The two researchers unveiled some of the possibilities of the new drone at the Black Hat security conference. The cost of the project is just $6000. Using this money the duo was able to turn a surplus U.S. Army target drone into an R/C spy aircraft that equipped with Wi-Fi and different hacking instruments like IMSI catcher and antenna. These tools are able to easily spoof a GSM cell tower and capture cell phone calls.

In addition, the drone that weights 14 pounds and is 6ft long includes a dictionary that boasts 340 million words. This tool is used to carry out exhaustive key search.

It would be interesting to note that at 2010 DefCon, English hacker Chris Paget demonstrated how to build a cell phone base station that can trick close by cell phones into transmitting their outbound calls via it and not commercial cell towers like they suppose to. In such a way it is possible to intercept phone calls.

The same technology is used in the drone. Despite the fact that the FAA regulations allow such vehicles to fly at an altitude not higher than 400 feet, it is quite enough to fly overhead without much noise.

In addition, using GPS coordinates and Google maps, it is possible to program the drone to fly a specified course. Still, remote control is needed to allow it to take off and land.

Although the security experts built their drone to show how easy it is for bad guys to accomplish their evil plans, the vehicle can be also used to help in various rescue operations - it could be equipped with infrared cameras and shape-recognition technology to search for lost hikers, for example, reports Wired.

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