Monday Jun 25, 201211:20 PM GMT
Researchers: Aerial drones vulnerable to hijacking
Mon Jun 25, 2012 11:19PM
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A U.S. Predator drone flies over the moon above Kandahar Air Field, southern Afghanistan Sunday, Jan. 31, 2010.

Another reason to be wary of increasing reliance on unmanned drones in the U.S.: They could be easily hijacked.


A University of Texas researcher illustrated that fact in a series of test flights recently, showing that GPS "spoofing" could cause a drone to veer off its course and even purposely crash. This is particularly worrisome, given that the U.S. is looking to grant U.S. airspace to drones for domestic jobs including police surveillance or even FedEx deliveries, Newser reports.




Professor Todd Humphreys and a team of researchers from the University of Texas at Austin’s Radio navigation Laboratory have exposed the gaping hole in the government’s new aerial drone program…the drones can be commandeered. 


Humphreys was able to seize control of a drone through his own programed receiver and keep the government locked out from its controls.  In the right environment he could have crashed it into a sporting event, a government building or worse. Fox News.


While the government’s new push to include drones in the law enforcement and civilian markets is on track to begin Humphrys is pointing out that each one has the potential to be turned into a missile.


Last Tuesday, in the barren desert of the White Sands Missile Range in New Mexico, officials from the FAA and Department of Homeland Security watched as Humphrey’s team repeatedly took control of a drone from a remote hilltop.


Humphreys said, “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.” The Inquisitr





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