Master Student University of Twente claims to take over police drones

Mar

3

2016

A former master’s student at the University of Twente has demonstrated at RSA security conference in the United States how the drone of thousands of euros which, inter alia, used by police forces can take over remotely.

The German Nils Rodday, now at IBM works but research conducted in partnership with KPMG at the University of Twente, mentions in his presentation at the RSA Conference not the drone he can take exactly and in which countries the police uses these drones, but given the appointed Xbee module should involve European countries, because they operate at frequencies that may only be used in Europe the police.

Rodday appoints two methods to take control of the drone. The first is via the Xbee module in the controller for the drone to the ground. Rodday itself has bought such a module, to act as a man-in-the-middle. Although Xbee can communicate protected, which is disabled by the drone to reduce latency, writes Wired.

Rodday drone take over

A second method of attack is via the tablet with which the driver controls the drone. The communication between the drone and the driver on the ground is via a WiFi connection that is protected by WEP, a WiFi protocol which for years has been known that the passwords are easy to figure out. The attack also works through finding out the password. Via the Android app obsolete Rodday commands to the drone, after which he can control himself and thus take control.

Rodday drone take over

It is unknown how many drones contain these vulnerabilities. Rodday received no response from manufacturers of flying machines to his questions. The former master’s student at the University of Twente suspects that many more drones may be vulnerable. This can be solved with stronger WiFi protocols and enable encryption on the Xbee modules.

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