The Newest Threat to Privacy May Be Hovering Overhead

Hackers have created a drone that can trick your smartphone into thinking it’s connected with a trusted network.


Thieves are seemingly everywhere these days – even flying above your head. Hackers have developed a drone capable of stealing private information from your smartphone, including usernames and passwords, credit card information and your GPS location.

According to CNN Money, ethical hackers developed the drone to expose security weaknesses at risk of being exploited by potential hackers. The drone, nicknamed Snoopy, intercepts Wi-Fi signals from smartphones looking to find a network connection.

“Their phone will very noisily be shouting out the name of every network it’s ever connected to,” Sensepost security researcher Glenn Wilkinson said. “They’ll be shouting out, ‘Starbucks, are you there?… McDonald’s free Wi-Fi, are you there?”

The Snoopy drone tricks your phone into thinking it’s connecting to a trusted network it has used in the past. In reality, the drone will intercept everything you send or receive on your phone, like passwords and credit card information.

Sensepoint is presenting its drone findings next week at the Black Hat Asia conference in Singapore.

In the meantime, you can take one easy step to keep your personal information private. Turn off your Wi-Fi settings unless you’re connected to a home, work or public network.

Stacy Johnson

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