If you were among the group of people who scooped up the Parrot AR.Drone when it was first released (Check out our review) and have since gotten bored of the few apps/games that Parrot has put out since then, here's an idea for you: Aerial WiFI hacking rig. Appropriately named, SkyNET takes the Parrot AR.Drone, and trades the protective shell for a tiny Linux computer, a 3G card, GPS, and two WiFi cards.

The idea, in a nutshell, is once you've got your SkyNET drone all set up, you fly around in urban environments loaded with WiFi networks controlling the AR.Drone via 3G. It looks for networks it can break into, breaks into them, and attempts to compromise any vulnerable computer on the network. From there, these infected machines can take orders from SkyNET with no traceable ties back to the hackers running it, as everything is coming directly from an aerial drone connected directly to your WiFi network.

Pretty creepy, right? This seems like the stuff out of science fiction, but with the right technical know-how can be done today for approximately $600. So, if you haven't yet, now might be a good time to secure your wireless network. Personally, I'm just blown away that a device that was originally sold as a fun iOS-controlled quadricopter with some augmented reality games can be used for such crazy things.

[via Gizmodo]

  • Shamu

    if i ever see one of these outside my house..air rifle.

    • bigrand1

      if I ever see you trying to shoot down my drone...shotgun time.

  • Anonymous

    not cool

  • Hanerlend

    The coolest thing about this was 3G controllability. Throw in a badder battery and you can fly this thing several kilometers from your house - now that's really cool!

    • http://profiles.google.com/numatrix Jordan Wiens

      Sorta -- it's cool they they did it, except they did it in a rather inelegant way. They admit as much when I asked them (at the same conference linked to above, incidentally). 

      There's a 3g->WIFI repeater mounted on the drone with a shield to try to limit the bleedover and they just rebroadcast the 3g network tunnel traffic into the wifi interface of the drone itself. The better solution would be to connect the 3g network directly into the drone. Downside is it'd require some actual modification of the drone's core functionality, but on the upside, you'd get some better battery life out of it too. Also, you could potentially use the additional wifi chipset for other purposes (say associating and uploading larger data chunks over open wifi networks instead of the slower 3g network)

  • Hanerlend

    The coolest thing about this was 3G controllability. Throw in a badder battery and you can fly this thing several kilometers from your house - now that's really cool!

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_ZGU6PVTIJTOVG4V4COZRYAKGPI Ed

    now it just needs a hook to power itself up from the electric distribution lines...  (it would be funny if it weren't true)

  • Anonymous


  • Anonymous

    Man this site's comment system is really weird... Sorry for the previous erroneous post.

    What I was trying to post was that the idea of spending 600+ on an ar.drone to look for WiFi hotspots seems a little silly when you will have to follow the drone in a car. What makes this any better than simply driving around in your car looking for hotspots?

    • LR

      agreed 100%...same old wardriving

  • http://twitter.com/drelbs drelbs

    Reminds me of when Dreamcasts became popular hacking tools - although that involved plugging it into someone's network.

    • Anonymous

      This reminds me of all the folks out there that like to put Unix on every consumer product that has a processor in it.

  • http://twitter.com/teknikal69 P Allen

    I think it's  pretty cool if I understand right it basicly lets you go wardriving while sitting in your house I think the biggest limitation would be the 15 minutes battery or someone angrily following it back home to you. Still lots of potential I wonder how many other uses it finds.

  • Me

    lol awesome.

  • Anonymous

    I just know I want one.

  • Rage delacruiz

    lame u give hackerz a bad name