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SkyNET drone - modified AR.Drone





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Uploaded on Sep 22, 2011

Here's a short breakdown of the SkyNET drone created as a POC for a research project on side-channel botnet command and control. The research was presented at Usenix WOOT 2011 (link below). The project consisted mostly of software design to utilize a 3G/GPS-controlled UAV to enlist and command a hypothetical botnet. Although the drone does have malicious potential, it was not, and never will be, used for malicious purposes.

Most of the controls were programmed on the TS-7552 SBC, this board allowed us to add a 3G modem, GPS, and multiple WiFi cards to the AR.Drone. The added payload (cards, board, etc) is about 170g. The drone flies for about 13 minutes continuously, and for about 2.5 hours while grounded. The concept we demoed was a drone which would use half of its power to position itself, and the remaining to perform command and control.

The main benefit of using a modified retail toy was to attract potential victims, and remain innocuous during urban flight (not to mention the reduced cost). The drone can be replicated for under $500 US.


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