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Don't groan, but this new drone can see what's on your phone

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)
3/20/2014 (3 years ago)
Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

Known as 'Snoopy,' looks for mobile devices with Wi-Fi settings turned on

As if privacy wasn't already under attack by the National Security Agency, a new drone hovering high in the sky can now detect what you're sending on your cell phone! Hackers have developed a drone that can steal the contents of your Smartphone. Everything from your location data to your email password, everything is up for grabs.

The Snoopy drone drives away all pleasant memories about a beloved cartoon dog. read on.

The Snoopy drone drives away all pleasant memories about a beloved cartoon dog. read on.

Highlights

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)
Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)
3/20/2014 (3 years ago)

Published in Technology

Keywords: Snoopy, drone, surveillance, passwords


LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - The technology equipped on the drone, known as "Snoopy," looks for mobile devices with Wi-Fi settings turned on. Hackers have been testing it out in the skies of London. Research garnered will be presented next week at the Black Hat Asia cyber-security conference in Singapore.

Wiping away all pleasant memories of a certain cartoon dog, 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.

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"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?"

Snoopy then swings into action. The drone can send back a signal pretending to be networks you've connected to in the past. Even worse, devices two feet apart could both make connections with the quadcopter, both thinking it is a different, trusted Wi-Fi network. When the phones connect to the drone, Snoopy will intercept everything they send and receive.

"Your phone connects to me and then I can see all of your traffic," Wilkinson said.

Sites you visit, credit card information entered or saved on different sites, location data, usernames and passwords - all are available to Snoopy. Each phone has a unique identification number, or MAC address, which the drone uses to tie the traffic to the device.

The names of the networks can be especially revealing. "I've seen somebody looking for 'Bank X' corporate Wi-Fi," Wilkinson said. "Now we know that that person works at that bank."

Snoopy was test-driven by CNN in London. Wilkinson was able to show us what he believed to be the homes of several people who had walked underneath the drone. In less than an hour of flying, he obtained network names and GPS coordinates for about 150 mobile devices.

Usernames and passwords for Amazon, PayPal and Yahoo accounts created for the purposes of the test were also used. 

The scary part is that collecting metadata, or the device IDs and network names, is probably not illegal, according to the Electronic Frontier Foundation. However, intercepting usernames, passwords and credit card information with the intent of using them would likely violate wiretapping and identity theft laws.

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