Pixhawk-powered drone spots insecure Internet-of-Things devices

From Business Insider:

Security researchers have created a flying drone capable of sniffing out devices connecting to the internet.

Researchers at security firm Praetorian created the drone using a custom-made tracking tool.

Praetorian vice president Paul West Jauregui told Business Insider the tool can collect data on devices within 100 metres by tracking their communications.

“The project has to do with the Internet of Things (IoT). This is a technology development to let devices all talk to each other,” he said.

“When they [IoT devices] communicated over a wireless protocol called Zigbee. This protocol is open at a network level. So when the devices start connecting they send out beacon requests. We capture data based on this.”

The tech can reportedly detect connected devices security settings as well as who made it. The project is a multistage initiative designed to find, map and examine the security of connected devices.

“The real potential of the project is capturing information and putting it on the map. From that we’re going to find additional areas of risk around IoT,” said Jauregui.

“The project will also give us a window into the internet of things trends. It’ll let us know things like how many Philips Hue light bulbs are out there.”

The drone has already done a test flight over Austin where it detected nearly 1600 unique IoT devices.

The drone’s movements and detected devices can be viewed on an inte...

Jauregui said the company plans to mount flights in other US cities in the near future. The firm also plans to release a guide explaining how fans can join the project and create their own tech tracking drones.

“One of the goals of the project is to get attention and get more people involved so we can increase our ability to cover new areas. This is important as the scanner has to be within 30 to 100 metres of devices to capture data,” he said.

“[To help with this] we’ve created a complete ‘how to build guide your drone’ guide that we’ll be publishing in the next week or two.”

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Comment by Scott W on August 6, 2015 at 9:26am

How do you get permission to fly your drone over an entire city? 

Comment by Keith M on August 7, 2015 at 9:23am

I know for Canadian regulations there are such Special Flight Operations Certificates that allow users to operate in the entire southern Ontario Region

Comment by Keith M on August 7, 2015 at 6:19pm
@Swift the Transport Canada UAV regulations are perfect for hobbyists and are very easy to understand for businesses to abide by

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