It is getting harder and harder to think of things that are truly from the world of science fiction and not have someone be able to create those things today with even run of the mill technology.
Such is the case with the WASP; or as Richard Perkins and Mike Tassey call it the Wireless Aerial Surveillance Platform. Where once something like WASP might have been relegated to fanciful futuristic spy movies these two gentlemen plan on showing a working model at this year’s Black Hat and Defcon conferences.
Building off of an old Air Force drone they packed the miniature aircraft with a tiny Linux powered computer, hacking software, a 4G T-Mobile card, an HD camera, and 32 GB onboard storage.
Just what does WASP do with those gigabytes? Originally, it was designed for Wi-Fi penetration — cracking network passwords while loitering above a target area. But the newly upgraded WASP can now trick GSM phones into connecting with its 4G card as if it were a standard cellphone tower. Once connected, the WASP quietly records any phone conversations or text messages while connecting the call via VOIP, thus giving the mark the impression that the call went through normally.
Keep in mind that nothing on the WASP is particularly new. The password cracking techniques have been around for quite some time, and the phone-spoof is based off a trick shown off at Defcon last year. But by placing them on a flying platform, Perkins and Tassey have shown that consumer technology and hacking techniques have progressed to the point where once untouchable targets are now vulnerable.
And we use to think stuff like this was only found in the movies.