Look up! The next cyberattack could be coming at you from above. Some London-based hackers have been testing out roving quadcopters that search for smartphones and tablets with their Wi-Fi enabled. That's all the opening this drone needs to hijack your passwords and personal data from the air.
The technology equipped on the drone, known as Snoopy, looks for mobile devices with Wi-Fi settings turned on. Snoopy takes advantage of a feature built into all smartphones and tablets: When mobile devices try to connect to the Internet, they look for networks they've accessed in the past. "Their phone will very noisily be shouting out the name of every network it's ever connected to," Sensepost security researcher Glenn Wilkinson said. "They'll be shouting out, 'Starbucks, are you there?...McDonald's Free Wi-Fi, are you there?" That's when Snoopy can swoop into action (and be its most devious, even more than the cartoon dog): the drone can send back a signal pretending to be networks you've connected to in the past. Devices two feet apart could both make connections with the quadcopter, each thinking it is a different, trusted Wi-Fi network. When the phones connect to the drone, Snoopy will intercept everything they send and receive.
The developer of this scary new tech, Sensepost, will reveal its research at the Black Hat Asia cybersecurity conference in Singapore. Click here to read more about the drone. In the meantime, you can defend your gadgets using these four tricks.