London-based Security researchers team at Sensepost Research Labs have developed a drone called “Snoopy” that can steal data and content from your smartphone without your knowledge. Image credit: Reuters
If you are a resident of London and you see a Drone hovering over your head, there are chances that your smartphone is being hijacked using Snoopy. Snoopy is currently being tested in the London skies. The tests have been taking place over the passed few days by security researchers from Senseport and they intend to present their findings next week at Black Hat Asia, a cybersecurity conference in Singapore.
The technology embedded in the Drone enables it to look for smartphone devices with wi-fi settings turned on. most of these smartphone devices are set with the settings to look for wi-fi networks they have previously connected to and once it finds the network in the range it automatically connects with the network.
“Snoopy” then sends back the signal to the Smartphone and pretends to be the wi-fi Network with which the Mobile device connected earlier. as soon as the Smartphone connects with the device it is hijacked, hackers can then intercept every signal they smartphone sends or receives, including your user login id from email accounts, social networks, bank accounts, text messages, websites you visit and your mobile usage preferences.
Wilkinson who developed the drone with Daniel Cuthbert at Sensepost ResearchLabs said, He was also able to obtain usernames and passwords for Amazon, PayPal and Yahoo accounts created for the purposes of our reporting so that we could verify the claims without stealing from passersby.
Watch this video for a quick look at what Snoopy can do:
Collecting metadata, device ids or network names is not illegal according to the the Electronic Frontier Foundation. but intercepting credit card details and login ids would likely violate wiretapping and identity theft laws.
Wilkinson said the purpose of this project is to raise awareness of the vulnerabilities of smart devices.