Drone hackers needed only $1,000 worth of parts

Credit: REUTERS/Tim Chong

Plan to allow drones over US airspace need to protect against GPS Spoofing after demo by University of Texas researchers.

A demonstration over the famous UT football field showed a civilian drone fooled by a GPS spoofer built for about $1,000 worth of parts (video from Fox News). By overriding GPS signals, which are weak because of the distance from GPS satellites, hackers can take control over drones.

Todd Humphreys of UT's Radionavigation Laboratory told Fox News, "Spoofing a GPS receiver on a UAV is just another way of hijacking a plane.” Military drones used in combat rely on encrypted control signals, but planned civilian and police drones do not. However, Iran claims to have already hacked one military drone. Demonstrations have been given to the FAA and Homeland Security.

The sky is falling

Are these the same drones whose armed cousins are conducting assassination missions around Afghanistan at the moment? Lovely thought having one of those hacked...

Steve on nakedsecurity.sophos.com

Egads, the news coverage of this is horrible fear mongering. The researchers from UT built a system to protect against GPS spoofing. In order to prove that their protection system works, they had to demonstrate that GPS spoofing is feasible.

asynchronous13 on news.ycombinator.com

Will hackers win?

I never trusted the Iranians hacking claims on "RQ-170" but now I do.

Delta2 on nakedsecurity.sophos.com

I would have paid anything just to be there to see the expressions and faces on the DHS officials.

jaturaphat on rt.com

This not news, anyone who works with these vehicles knows this. It's like shooting a horse and then claiming terrorists can take out tanks with a single bullet.

blutack on news.ycombinator.com


Am I the only one surprised that the team didn't end up getting arrested for successfully doing what they were asked to do?

@authorizedpants on nakedsecurity.sophos.com

Drones are a major invasion of privacy and have no place in civilian life.

mzeek on rt.com

This is part of the clever and gradual propaganda campaign to increase drone funding/sophistication significantly.

grandalf on news.ycombinator.com

Other people read this and say it is a clever propaganda campaign to promote the danger of using drones that can be turned against us by hackers, etc....

dusing on news.ycombinator.com

Vote below: do you trust your police department to securely and safely fly drones over your house and family?

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