As if controlling a quadrocopter with a camera from your phone wasn’t high-tech enough, or Amazon dropping packages to your door with them didn't amaze, now they’re getting smarter. Well, sneakier at least.
SkyJack is a hardware and software spec list written by hacker Samy Kamkar for creating drones that fly near other drones, hack them, and recruit them under its control. And with Amazon talking of making deliveries with drones this seems like a worrying time for this to appear.
SkyJack uses a Parrot AR.Drone quadcopter carrying a Raspberry Pi, a small battery and two wireless transmitters. It can seek out the wireless signal of nearby drones, hijack the connections used to control them, and commandeer the flight-control and camera systems.
Creator Samy Kamkar is best known for his MySpace hack that shut the social network down in 2005. He’s since been working on legal hacks, although this one seems like it could be used for nefarious tasks.
"How fun would it be to take over drones, carrying Amazon packages... or take over any other drones, and make them my little zombie drones," Kamkar asked rhetorically in a blog post published Monday. "Awesome."
While Amazon deliveries by drones are still just an idea it would be interesting to see how the company reacts to threats like this. SkyJack can also be set-up from a fixed transmitter, potentially pulling in any drones that pass a hacker’s house, for example.