Snoopy drone pilfers smartphone data

At the Black Hat Asia conference in Singapore next week, the folks behind a drone called Snoopy will showcase how they can intercept data from smartphones using their flying craft. The drone works by spoofing wireless networks and connecting to smartphones with the WiFi enabled, allowing them to remotely capture login credentials, personal data, and more.

When the WiFi is turned on, a smartphone will hunt for a familiar wireless network while the user is away from home, something the Snoopy drone takes advantage of to nab data from unsuspecting victims. The drone, imitating the familiar network, will connect with the smartphone.

Once connected, the hacker behind the drone can then intercept the user's traffic and pick from it the details he or she wants, such as login in credentials and location information. In one instance, the hacker was able to estimate where one of the smartphone owners lived.

The folks behind the project didn't develop Snoopy for malicious purposes, instead doing so to demonstrate an aspect of vulnerability with mobile devices. Those who are concerned about similar data-gathering attacks should make sure to turn the device's WiFi off before heading into public.