Watching technology evolve has been a wonderful thing. However, it has come with its share of bad actors. One of the more recent great discoveries is drones. They were once used for monitoring land and eventually even held and unloaded bombs at targets. They have many good purposes as well, such as delivering pizzas and eventually shipping products for Amazon.
Meet the Snoopy Drone. Sensepost a security company out of London, has created a drone that can actually hack your smartphone. It does this while spoofing wireless networks to capture your cellular data.
How Does the Snoopy Drone Intercept Data?
The Snoopy Drone scans to find devices with Wi-Fi activated. With the drone’s technology, any previous network connections from your Wi-Fi enabled smartphone which are easily accessible will be captured. This information will be used to create a spoof network.
This eliminates the requirement to authenticate or interact as the phone believes it is connecting to a network that it is familiar with. As the phone is set to automatically connect with the network it previously connected to, it will automatically join the spoof network and inadvertently give up all your sensitive information.
Why Was the Snoopy Drone Created?
The developer stated that the Snoopy Drone was created to demonstrate the vulnerabilities of smartphones and other wireless devices. It accomplished this very well. However, it has also publicized these vulnerabilities and make it clear to criminals that there is an easy way to hack people through Wi-Fi connections.
The Snoopy footprint is found on the Sensepost website. It illustrates the Snoopy Drone in action and allows the general public to download the software. As Snoopy is on GitHub as well, everyone can see exactly how the technology was created and how it can be copied.
As the original hopes were to expose vulnerabilities in smartphones, one can only hope that this project will be a success with a positive outcome – increased security in smartphones and wireless connections. At the very least, it should raise some awareness on the risks of Wi-Fi enabled devices and how these potential vulnerabilities can be prevented.
What are the Risks of the Snoopy Drone?
The risks of this technology are endless. The risks are also scary. The potential that this device has is left to the hands that it’s in. The developer made it to point out security flaws in smartphones. A demonstration of the Snoopy Drone in action showed that it can effectively spoof a network and steal people’s data, even their Yahoo, Amazon, and PayPal login details.
How Can You Stop the Snoopy Drone?
The Snoopy Drone and copycat devices cannot be stopped as a whole unless new wireless network technology is developed. This is a far-fetched belief, so all that people can do right now is put up a blocker to prevent any of these devices from accessing their data.
How can you do that though? Simple – de-activate the Wi-Fi on your smartphone.
Your smartphone will automatically connect to networks that it recognizes unless you have settings instructing it to do otherwise. If a network is spoofed while your device is prepared to auto connect, it will end up connecting to the spoofed network. This will result in your data being accessed by an attacker.
Is Every Network At Risk?
You may think that it’s a bit over the top to deactivate your wireless settings every time you disconnect from a wireless network. That’s understandable, but it’s still the safest way you can approach this situation as you never know when or where a device like the Snoopy Drone is being used.
It would make sense to believe that it will target open public networks. So places like Starbucks, McDonalds, and public hotel networks would all be highly subject to such an attack. However, in the future you may even see home networks being spoofed and individuals may even be targeted. Just imagine this technology being used to intercept data from celebrities – their private pictures, videos, and anything you can imagine, being stolen and sold for profit.
It’s scary to think about where the Snoopy Drone and similar devices will lead criminal hackers. It is something that most have to bat a blind eye towards as the average person has no control over the situation. All you can do is deactivate your Wi-Fi network when it’s not in use and ensure that your wireless settings prevent your device from auto connecting.
It may be a good idea to limit your Internet access from your smartphone and other wireless devices, especially while on a public network. You can easily perform online purchases, money transfers, and similar processes through your at-home computer. This would be a lot safer as it is through an encrypted network that is unlikely to be targeted by a Wi-Fi hacking device.