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This past week students at the University of Texas were busy in their Radionavigation Lab. These students under the watch of Professor Todd Humphreys were trying to show the US military just how strong their unmanned aerial vehicle systems are. With less than $1000 they hacked into the system using a “spoofing” tech.
The team took advantage of the GPS system in the unmanned aerial vehicle and hacked into its system to be in control of it by using its $1000 radio tools. Although they were able to do this, luckily the military’s unmanned aerial vehicles are not capable of being hijacked so easily. The military’s have an encrypted GPS system. But, researchers are a bit worried that foreign drones do not have the same protection and could be used against the military’s odds.
Professor Humphreys spoke to Fox News about some of his worries about these drones and their ability to be taken down from flight. He explained, “In 5 or 10 years you have 30,000 drones in [U.S.] airspace…Each one of these could be a potential missile used against us.”
The students and professor were invited to demonstrate their hacking techniques in front of the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) and Department of Homeland Security (DoHS). The DoHS were already in the works of creating two anti-jamming systems but it is nowhere near ready to be put into use.