A Linux-powered flying spy drone with the ability to crack Wi-Fi & GSM networks will make its debut at the Black Hat and DEFCON conferences in Las Vegas, Nevada this week.
The unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) is aptly named the WASP (Wireless Aerial Surveillance Platform), and is designed to enable remote hacking of wireless networks in urban areas.
According to an article in Geek.com, the "WASP is equipped with the tools to crack Wi-Fi network passwords made possible by an on-board VIA EPIA Pico-ITX PC running BackTrack Linux equipped with 32GB of storage to record information. BackTrack offers a full suite of digital forensics and penetration testing tools making it a good fit for this setup. WASP can also act as a GSM network antenna meaning it will be able to eavesdrop on calls/text messages made over that network by any phone deciding to connect through it."
Designers Mike Tassey and Richard Perkins say the WASP was created to highlight the vulnerability of wireless networks to sophisticated surveillance techniques. Tassey will discuss how the unit was created using the Arduino open source platform during a DEFCON presentation later this week.
The first prototype WASP was unveiled last August, and the designers say the latest incarnation features the GSM compatibility as well as implementing the open source design.
The WASP can tap into voice and text communication on GSM networks, and it does not violate current FCC laws because it operates with a 3G connection and uses a HAM radio frequency band.
Once airborne, the WASP can be programmed to target specific areas for surveillance using a GPS aided guidance system, essentially allowing the unit to function independently of an operator.
The WASP is also equipped with a high definition camera to supplement the hacked communications data with aerial footage of the targeted area.
The WASP is a home-brewed, fully functional, remote monitoring system that can be created in your own garage, a fact that the designers want to impress on their audience at DEFCON when demonstrating the vulnerability wireless networks have to surreptitious surveillance.