This must be the holy grail of hacking: a cheap, do-it-yourself flying drone that can break into Wi-Fi networks and turn computers into zombies that can be controlled remotely. The coolest part for evildoers: it makes the hacking untraceable.

The SkyNET drone is a modified $300 Parrot quadcopter with a Linux computer, 3G card, a GPS unit and two Wi-Fi cards. This is how it works:

Controlled by a botmaster using 3G, the drone or group of drones fly over any urban area looking for Wi-FI networks. As they find them, they automatically try to break in. Once they get inside the network, it searches for personal computers that can be compromised. Any computer that falls to the attack gets turned into a zombie without the user ever knowing it.

After the infection process, the hackers can easily control the zombies remotely through the Wi-Fi drone-to-host connection. The zombies can be used to perform any attack through their internet connections, receiving commands from SkyNET but with no traceable internet ties to the hacker botmaster:

Subsequent drone Ô¨āights are used to issue command and control without ever linking the botmaster to the botnet via the Internet. Reverse engineering the botnet, or enumerating the bots, does not reveal the identity of the botmaster.

It's a perfect idea. Total cost: a mere $600. Anyone can easily build a complete fleet of these.


Also, words words words Sarah Connor words words Terminators hah hah words. [SkyNET Paper (PDF) via Cnet]