Researchers: Aerial Drones Vulnerable To “Hijacking”
With the government set to expand the use of unmanned aerial drones to patrol the US borders and airspace for terrorists, drug runners and floods of illegal immigrants, there comes with it an added price according to researchers. Fox News is reporting that researchers say that terrorists or drug gangs, with the right kind of equipment could turn the drones into “suicide” weapons.
“Spoofing a GPS receiver on a UAV is just another way of hijacking a plane,”
“Spoofing” is a relatively new concern in the world of GPS navigation. The only problem that has been on the radar of drone programs has been GPS Jammers, which are basically available all over the internet. Last year when Iran brought down a US spy drone over its airspace it is believed that they used a jammer to confuse the GPS system forcing it to automatically land to preserve its cargo.
Spoofers are a much more dangerous type of technology because they actually mimic a command by the GPS system and convince the drone it is receiving new coordinates. With his device — what Humphreys calls the most advanced spoofer ever built (at a cost of just $1,000) — he was able to override the signal from space with a more powerful signal from the device.
“I’m worried about them crashing into other planes. I’m worried about them crashing into buildings. We could get collisions in the air and there could be loss of life, so we want to prevent this and get out in front of the problem.”