Drone hack explained: professor details UAV hijacking
Todd Humphreys’ tale about hacking a civilian drone in front of the Department of Homeland Security has gone viral since he conducted the experiment last month. Now the assistant professor at the University of Texas explains his work to RT.
In an interview with RT America this week, Todd Humphreys of the University of Texas at Austin’s Radionavigation Laboratory reveals that it only took a few researchers, around $1,000 in parts and some seriously smart software to send signals to an unmanned aerial vehicle’s GPS receiver, hijack the craft in mid-air and then have it do the department’s bidding — all right in front of Homeland Security agents.
“The navigations systems of these drones have a variety of sensors,” explains Humphreys, “…but at the very bottom is a GPS unit — and most of these drones that will be used in the civilian airspace have a civilian GPS unit which is wide open and vulnerable to this kind of attack. So if you can commander the GPS unit, then you can basically spoon feed false navigation information to the navigation center of these drones.”
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