Till now you’ve heard that terrorists hijack planes. So, you won’t be astonished if you hear that terrorists have hijacked a military plane or a drone. But if you hear, some students have the ability to hijack (you can also say have “hacked”) U.S. military drones then how do you feel? Yes, folks! you have heard right! Some students from the University of Texas at Austin Radionavigation Laboratory have hacked a UAV owned by the university and proved that U.S. Government’s drones can be hijacked from midair.
Recently, some students from the University of Texas at Austin Radionavigation Laboratory in front of the US Department of Homeland Security have successfully hacked an unmanned aerial vehicle owned by the college. This team was led by Professor Todd Humphreys of that University. Humphreys built an advanced spoofer at a cost of just $1000. Spoofing is a technique that can mimic the actual signals sent to the global positioning device and then eventually tricking the target into following a new set of commands. The students “spoof” the GPS system of the drone. They fed its GPS mechanism a false signal and tricked the air-drone into heading according to their wish. Those Texas students successfully proved to the official staffs of the Department of Homeland that spending only $1000, anyone can seize control of a Drone used by the US military and CIA.
Professor Todd Humphreys said, “In five or ten years you have 30,000 drones in the airspace. Each one of these could be a potential missile used against us.”
Spoofing is not new. Last year, using spoofing while an air drone was being brought down, it crashed in Iran. But after seeing the power of spoofing, the Department of Homeland is looking into the matter to keep their country safe.