Drug traffickers are hacking US surveillance drones to get past border patrol

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Drug traffickers are hacking US surveillance drones to get past border patrol

Mars220
The US Department of Homeland Security has turned to using small drones to monitor its borders, but drug traffickers have apparently already found a way to avoid surveillance.

Timothy Bennett, a Department of Homeland Security program manager, said last week that drug smugglers are using technology to spoof and jam unmanned aircraft systems that are being used at the border.

“The bad guys on the border have lots of money. And what they are putting money into is spoofing and jamming of GPSs, so we are doing funding to look at small UAS that we can counter this,” Bennett said during a panel at the Center for Strategic & International Studies.

Spoofing is when someone is able to counterfeit the GPS signal navigating the drone. Because non-military GPS signals are not encrypted, they are vulnerable to being spoofed.

In a border patrol scenario, this means that the GPS signal from the control station could be hijacked by the “spoofer” and crashed.

Jamming is when someone uses a device to jam the GPS signal so that the drone loses its ability to determine its location or altitude.

These methods of hacking the device are nothing new.

In 2012, researchers at the University of Texas demonstrated how a remote UAS could be hijacked via a GPS spoof. At the time, lawmakers were up in arms about implementing a fix before these small drones were integrated into the national airspace.

Bennett said the DHS is currently investing in research to improve the security of the unmanned systems so that they aren’t vulnerable to these kinds of attacks.

Tech Insider reached out to the Department of Homeland Security to get more information on how often its drones were being targeted and will update when we hear back.

But Bennett did tell Defense One that the spoofing and jamming attacks were making it difficult for law enforcement abilities to map drug routes.

“You’re out there looking, trying to find out this path [they’re] going through with drugs, and we can’t get good coordinate systems on it because we’re getting spoofed. That screws up the whole thing. We got to fix that problem,” Bennett told Defense One.

http://www.businessinsider.com/drug-traffickers-are-hacking-us-border-drones-2015-12
Mars Oner
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Re: Drug traffickers are hacking US surveillance drones to get past border patrol

canadiana
Administrator
I wonder if this could affect other GPS users or it would be very localized?Im thinking it could affect small plane operations but they rely on a lot of visuals and cross reference with other forms of navigation but the big fuel saver is the GPS.Jets use other forms of navigation under instrument flight rules.Maybe they should go under the military GPS for the drones for security.
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Re: Drug traffickers are hacking US surveillance drones to get past border patrol

deelucky1
How does a genius like that not figure out it's his own people crashing the drones .how do cartels get so close without being noticed !is he related to goerge bush!not that easy as it sounds .
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Re: Drug traffickers are hacking US surveillance drones to get past border patrol

ElMello
Apologies for going a little off-topic, but I thought this might be relevant seeing as the frontier with the USA is basically a warzone?

I think it was ISIS, I'm not 100% on exactly who (a maybe "moderate" rebel group) who hacked the live video streams coming from US military UAV's last year over Iraq - at the time I was a little shocked at the implications this held for security - apparently the militants were able to control and or jam/crash the drone as well as view the visual feed. The USA at the time didn't own up to any leak or loss of intel concerning military drone's in middle east but I wonder if they *gave* certain people on the ground the know-how with these UAV's and this was misused?

Many wireless encryption techniques aren't very difficult to crack especially if supercomputers & time are available ie. $$$$$$ but  in my opinion, jamming a frequency or GPS signal with a spoof transmitter would be a reasonably simple task for a radio engineer? Crazy stuff, it could cause havoc for the intel guys flying the things...

info from 2014:

https://www.google.co.uk/url?sa=t&rct=j&q=&esrc=s&source=web&cd=1&cad=rja&uact=8&ved=0ahUKEwiOgrfkz4nKAhVFshQKHegcB7kQFgggMAA&url=http%3A%2F%2Fanonhq.com%2Fuav-drones-hacked-by-iraqi-insurgents%2F&usg=AFQjCNHsubPrhUXcA0Bjmx98hgDsJPsEPg&sig2=d703kC_DOyVPwMrobWf-9A
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Re: Drug traffickers are hacking US surveillance drones to get past border patrol

Trump701
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Re: Drug traffickers are hacking US surveillance drones to get past border patrol

deelucky1
In reply to this post by ElMello
You know how far drones travel ?thats alot satellites to crack let alone how to spoof and make look like nothings wrong in very short time then also giving video feedback that will make it look like everything is going smooth.gooooodluck!this ain't your neighbors wifi
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Re: Drug traffickers are hacking US surveillance drones to get past border patrol

ElMello
At my computer club in the library they have a saying "with enough man/hours, superfast processors and $$$$$$$$, anything's possible"  lol
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Re: Drug traffickers are hacking US surveillance drones to get past border patrol

deelucky1
In reply to this post by deelucky1
Maybe instead of going back and fourth on can this be done or not !I'm gonna be a good semeritan and post a website or a group of people that really need funding.because getting money from their gov.would be like trying to squeeze water out of a rock but for all you American patriots that live under a rock heres for you .this website collects many open source projects from the public about Gps in exchange they give out software on gps receivers an sofware tools based on GNU radio this shouldn't be open to the public..feel free to post more that need help


http://www.ngs.noaa.gov/
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Re: Drug traffickers are hacking US surveillance drones to get past border patrol

ElMello
Many thanks deelucky1 - great stuff. There's quite a few GNU and open-source radio projects stashed away in the recesses of the internet, I was working on open-source HAM / DAB broadcasting software recently, great for those rainy evenings in February! :)
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Re: Drug traffickers are hacking US surveillance drones to get past border patrol

deelucky1
In reply to this post by deelucky1
    Goooodluck!
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Re: Drug traffickers are hacking US surveillance drones to get past border patrol

deelucky1
This post was updated on .
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Re: Drug traffickers are hacking US surveillance drones to get past border patrol

ElMello
here's the culprit...

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AOtyNWFqPtE

I wonder if the eagle thought the drone was in it's territory or maybe potential mating material?

  thought ... I wonder if birds of prey could be trained to attack UAVs ... haha