Amazon CEO & founder Jeff Bezos sent a wave of excitement to Amazon shoppers when he demonstrated that the online retailer is working on drones to deliver orders up to 5 pounds within a 10-mile radius.
The hype around Amazon drone inspired developer Samy Kamkar to create a drone capable of taking over other drones and bring them under his control.
He writes, “Cool! How fun would it be to take over drones, carrying Amazon packages!”
He calls his drone SkyJack that is engineered to autonomously seek out, hack, and wirelessly take over other drones within wifi distance, creating an army of zombie drones under your control.
Samy uses a Parrot AR.Drone 2, Raspberry Pi, Alfa AWUS036H wireless adapter, Edimax EW-7811Un wireless adapter and a USB Battery to build the machine. In short, the Pi runs Linux, the Alpha adapter is used to disconnect users connected to their drones and the Edimax adapter helps him connect Skyjack to his IPad or laptop. Samy developed a Perl application, also named, Skyjack to control his drone in addition to using aircrack-ng and node-ar-drone.
How does it work? Skyjack searches from a block of MAC addresses, which are used by the Parrot drones and intercepts one when it finds it. It then disconnects the drone from its owner using aircrack and takes over the control – now it can fly the drone wherever it wants.
The idea behind SkyJack is not to actually create a system to hijack drones, but to expose a major flaw in this ‘delivery system’ that the path of drones can be subverted and the rightful owner may never get his delivery.