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Researchers Develop Drone Helicopter ‘SkyNET’ for Airborne Wi-Fi Attacks

Researchers over at the Stevens Institute of Technology in New Jersey have created a drone helicopter capable of hacking into poorly protected Wi-Fi networks and use them to turn the system into a botnet.

The device, creepily named SkyNET, is a DIY drone helicopter which costs less than $600 to build and can be used by hackers to create an army of botnets without raising an alarm.

According to the Naked Security blog run by security firm Sophos, Theodore Reed, Joseph Geis and Sven Dietrich used an easily available Parrot AR.Drone remote-controlled [PDF] quadricopter and a few hundred dollars to create a device capable of discovering wireless networks with poor security and infecting the computers attached to the compromised networks.

The SkyNET botnet drone was created after the researchers set out to discover new ways to infect computers and turn them into zombie botnets.

“Furthermore, a drone might be traced back to the location where the botmaster plans to retrieve his device - one wonders if he would pose as a park-goer playing with an expensive toy. In addition, lets not forget, unlike just about any other form of computer attack this is one which simply won't work when the weather is too wet or windy,” Sophos (opens in new tab) said.

Ravi Mandalia

Ravi Mandalla was ITProPortal's Sub Editor (and a contributing writer) for two years from 2011. Based in Ahmedabad, India, Ravi is now the owner and founder of Parity Media Pvt. Ltd., a news and media company, which specializes in online publishing, technology news and analysis, reviews, web site traffic growth, web site UI. Ravi lists his specialist subjects as: Enterprise, IT, Technology, Gadgets, Business, High Net Worth Individuals, Online Publishing, Advertising, Marketing, Social Media, News, Reviews, Audio, Video, and Multi-Media. He has also previously worked as Dy. Manager - IT Security at (n)Code Solutions.