Top 10 Unmanned Aerial Vehicles Taking Flight
A SkyJacking drone buzzes around an area and uses its Wi-Fi radio to seek out and listen in on local networks broadcast in the area. When it finds one that's communicating with a drone, the software inserts data packets into the networks, essentially reprogramming the drone to cut it off from its controller and redirect it to listen to Kamkar's controller. As part of demonstration, Kamkar tested this function with a few of his own drone, showing that the hijacked drone essentially becomes a zombie under Kamkar's control.
The other drones were vulnerable in part because Parrot, the company that made them, bought a block of MAC addresses, which identify the wireless computers in their drones. The MAC address uniquely identifies each one - in fact, every computer and mobile device has such an address. But since Kamkar knew the range of the MAC addresses, he said it was relatively easy for the computer on his drone to simply search through those addresses until it found the one for the drone he was trying to hack.