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Published On: Fri, Jun 29th, 2012

Texas researchers hack into drone using GPS spoofer

University of Texas at Austin ismaking headlines as a research team hacked into an unmanned US drone, taking control of the GPS systems.

Public domain photo/US Air Force

Professor Todd Humphreys and his team at the Radionavigation Laboratory used $1,000 in equipment. According to Fox News, the frightening experiment puts into question the vulnerability of the U.S. government’s plan to open America’s airspace to civilian- and government-operated drones.

The team used a GPS “spoofer,” which enables users to take control of unencrypted GPS systems, like the one used to guide the drone on which they tested their hack.

Humphreys says that is a very serious problem.

“In five or 10 years you have 30,000 drones in the airspace,” he told Fox News. “Each one of these could be a potential missile used against us.”

“What if you could take down one of these drones delivering FedEx packages and use that as your missile? That’s the same mentality the 9-11 attackers had,” Humphreys added.

DHS is attempting to identify and mitigate GPS interference through its new “Patriot Watch” and “Patriot Shield” programs, but the effort is poorly funded, still in its infancy, and is mostly geared toward finding people using jammers, not spoofers.

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About the Author

- Writer and Co-Founder of The Global Dispatch, Brandon has been covering news, offering commentary for years, beginning professionally in 2003 on Crazed Fanboy before expanding into other blogs and sites. Appearing on several radio shows, Brandon has hosted Dispatch Radio, written his first novel (The Rise of the Templar) and completed the three years Global University program in Ministerial Studies to be a pastor. To Contact Brandon email [email protected] ATTN: BRANDON

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  1. Drone training involves targeting civilians in traffic - The Global Dispatch says:

    […] drone program has been criticized at times. A research team in Texas hacked into a drone, taking control of GPS navigation and leaving critics asking how secure the units really are. In […]

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