You must give hackers some credit if for no other reason than for persistence and ingenuity. The news is full of stories of the latest exploit of a system somewhere. Typically these attacks come over the internet or some other network. And while interception of cellular communications is not new, the latest method in the news concerns using drones to capture unencrypted messages / data and hacking into systems.
In a report from ABC15 in Phoenix, Arizona, hackers are turning to drones to steal personal information, corporate secrets, and hack whatever they can find. The scary part is that there are so many drones in use these days, how do you tell the bad ones from just the annoying?
According to Francis Brown, co-founder of white hat hacking company, Bishop-Fox, hackers are turning drones into flying computers that can essentially hack anything that is transmitting over the air. This includes wireless, Bluetooth, and RFID. The hackers equip the drone with a Raspberry Pi and a set of hacking tools then fly it around looking for signals that seem interesting. It can be landed on a roof or in another discrete area to complete its hacking chores.
Places are now accessible that weren’t before. Buildings inside a secure campus where Wi-Fi doesn’t reach nearby streets. Upper story meeting rooms with windows where sensitive meetings are taking place that include wireless communication between some of the participants.
Mr. Brown admits that there is no firm data on how many times this has happened but says the possibility is a wakeup call. Unfortunately, devices that jam the control frequencies of drones are illegal eliminating that defense. So, how do people protect themselves from this mobile hacking threat?
CRIP.TO suggests that in our age of increased digital communications and increasing surveillance, both ethical and not, encryption of all communications is a necessity. The most secure form of encryption is end-to-end where the communication and any associated data or files remains encrypted throughout its “journey” to the intended recipient. That way, if it is intercepted by drone or other means, it cannot be decrypted and read.
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