SkyNET: DIY drone helicopter WiFi attacks for less than $600

Graham Cluley
Graham Cluley
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If you saw a toy quadricopter flying outside your office would you be alarmed?

Researchers at the Stevens Institute of Technology, New Jersey, believe they have dreamt up a way for malicious hackers to break into WiFi networks and commandeer computers into a botnet – not via the internet, but using a DIY drone helicopter that costs less than $600.

With one mischievous eye towards the “Terminator” movies, Theodore Reed, Joseph Geis and Sven Dietrich have dubbed their creation “SkyNET” and say that for a few hundred dollars an off-the-shelf remote-controlled quadricopter can be turned into a stealth device which can seek out poorly protected WiFi networks, and then infect computers attached to them.

Because botmasters use the internet to deliver commands to their networks of compromised computers (which can in turn provide clues on if a botnet is active, and how to defend against it), the researchers were curious as to whether there were other ways to both create a botnet and…

Read more in my article on the Naked Security website.

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Graham Cluley is a veteran of the cybersecurity industry, having worked for a number of security companies since the early 1990s when he wrote the first ever version of Dr Solomon's Anti-Virus Toolkit for Windows. Now an independent analyst, he regularly makes media appearances and is an international public speaker on the topic of cybersecurity, hackers, and online privacy. Follow him on Twitter, Mastodon, Threads, Bluesky, or drop him an email.

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