Life On Earth
US Drone Hijacked In Mid-Air By Students
Cyber warfare is getting more and more attention from the United States military. With the skyrocketing number of unmanned drones flying over hot zones, it's very possible to blind their employer with a well placed hack. That is why the Department of Homeland Security dared a team of students from the University of Texas in Austin to hack one of their drones.
The students were successful in accomplishing the task by using a technique known as spoofing, which basically disguises signals sent by the hackers as those sent by the original operators. This is the same technique that is believed to have brought down the United States drone in Iran last year and rightfully so. When Iranian officials displayed the drone on live television, it appeared practically unharmed except for the reasonable dents from the rough landing.
Having a drone taken down by the military of your number one potential enemy is one thing, but when students have the ability to do it, there is reason to be worried. The Pentagon will be sure to take note of this and greatly increase efforts to render this technique less effective. Still, every time a new security system is implemented, it's only a matter of time until hackers find a way to bypass it. The UT Austin students are very likely to be the first batch of the many brilliant engineers the DoD is going to need to keep its cyber assets safe.
By Denis Ivanov
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