SkyJack Lets You Hunt Down and Hack Other Drones From the Air

It was only a matter of time before someone started hacking drones, and now Samy Kamkar has released all the hardware and software required to build a drone that can hunt and hack others as it flies—creating an army of zombies along the way.

SkyJack uses a Parrot AR.Drone quadcopter with a Raspberry Pi, running some custom software, attached to it. From their, it can easily hack other Parrot drones nearby, hijacking their wireless connections and taking over their flight pattern. In a blog post, hacker Kamkar muses on what it could be used for:

"How fun would it be to take over drones, carrying Amazon packages... or take over any other drones, and make them my little zombie drones... Awesome."

Oh. Dear. As if Amazon's publicity stunt wasn't dumb enough, here's a very real threat to the security of the goods you might (one day, a long way off) have delivered by drone.

So how, exactly, does SkyJack work? Well, it keeps track of the MAC addresses of all nearby Wi-Fi devices; when one belongs to a block of addresses used by Parrot Drones, it forces the craft to disconnect from the iOS or Android driving it. Then, it allows the hacker-cum-flyer to take control.

While it sounds limited, SkyJack is apparently written in such a way that it could easily be used to target other drones that use similar communication systems to those employed by Parrot. In other words: drones are no longer safe. Gulp. [SkyJack via Ars Technica]

Image by kaffeeringe under Creative Commons license