Archive for July, 2012

Drone Hacked By University Of Texas At Austin Research Group

July 1, 2012

I will start off this posting by bringing up the fact that a wide range of unmanned aerial surveillance vehicles operated by both governmental and corporate entities, with commercial and general aviation traffic across the nation’s skies by September 2015. (I’m sure spying on citizens of the U.S. with no warrants will be fervently disavowed by the Government Authorities as I am sure they would never do such a thing as this…..Bull Shit!!)

Yes this current Teabagger Republican Majority held Congress feeling that the FAA (Federal Aviation Administration) wasn’t moving fast enough on the subject of Drones, Congress put in a mandate in the FAA funding bill DEMANDING that they “quickly integrate a wide range of unmanned survalance aerial vehicles, operated by both governmental and corporate entities, with commercial and general aviation traffic across the nation’s skies.”

Well to let everyone know, in my own area where my home is, a highflying U.S. Navy surveillance drone has already crashed in Dorchester County, Maryland, where my home is located.  The aircraft was one of five Global Hawk drones the service acquired from the Air Force to test as high-altitude maritime surveillance aircraft.  The $100 million craft, which is unarmed, can carry a range of payloads, from sophisticated cameras to eavesdropping equipment.  The Global Hawk drones have flown reconnaissance missions over war zones in Afghanistan, Iraq, Pakistan, Libya, andYemen.

Now to make this story complete, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security dared aTexas University Research Group to bring down a flying drone, the team accepted the challenge and did just that.  The really interesting thing is and I was sure that this not only could be done but HAD BEEN DONE before the Texas University test even happened…..and it was not that expensive to hack the drone.  The University of Texas at Austin scientists, led by Professor Todd Humphreys, managed to bring down a flying drone with a unit called a “SPOOFER” costing just $1,000.  The research group gained control of the University-owned drone by using a device to hack its GPS system.

“Spoofing” a drone’s GPS system works, as well as the advantages of this tactic over GPS-Jammers.  Jammers work by causing the problems of muddling the GPS signals, and “SPOOFERS” are a giant leap forward in this technology.  They actually manipulate the navigation computers with false information that looks real to the drone.

The BBC notes that this could be the same technique employed by Iran when it captured a large UNDAMAGED American drone last year.