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Computing

Cyberwarfare is taking to the skies, aboard drones

February 6, 2018

Hovering computers will make it increasingly possible to hack equipment that doesn’t connect directly to the internet.

The drones: Cyberscoop rounded up a selection of drones that hack into networks. Take your pick: flying wiretaps for mobile networks, home-brew devices that turn off smart bulbs, or giants with 20-foot wingspans that meddle with Wi-Fi networks.

What the experts say: “This market is about to blow up,” Francis Brown of thecybersecurity firm Bishop Fox told Cyberscoop. “Everyone is dumping money into this.”

Why it matters: It’s often assumed that devices that don’t directly connect to the internet are relatively sheltered from attack. While it’s not straightforward, hovering a drone close to a vehicle or building could enable people to hack devices that use wireless communication but were once thought relatively safe.

Hack backs: It’s also worth noting that drones, with wireless connections and precarious modes of travel, are highly susceptible to being hacked out of the sky, too.

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Illustration by Rose Wong

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