RC Aircraft Wardriving: Warflying?

The gear needed for wardriving

11 posts • Page 1 of 1

Postby it73 » Mon May 14, 2012 3:21 am

On thing I've noticed about the wifi maps, in my town, is that many of the access points are localized around major roads. There's very little definition in less traveled areas.

One solution I see is to fly directly over the hot spots, instead of drive beside them.

At this point in time it should be very possible to mount an Android phone into something like a small RC plane and literally fly overhead wifi hotspots. Has anyone tried this?
I've been wanting to make a drone to do this. Money$$$...

Postby KH » Wed May 16, 2012 12:45 pm

I've been wanting to make a drone to do this. Money$$$...
And lots of it, but it has been done:

The rabbit-hole Wireless Aerial Surveillance Platform (wasp).

Postby it73 » Wed May 16, 2012 9:40 pm

The rabbit-hole Wireless Aerial Surveillance Platform (wasp)
Thanks for the link. I've been reading up on their design, I think if you reduce the scope of a project like that (reduce components and weight, use ARM mobile computer instead of x86 mobile computer) it might be possible to do something like that for a few hundered dollars (not everything they did, but a subset).

The CNN video on the page was rediculous. "Wardrivers are going to hack into your computer with an RC plane and steal your credit card numbers."

Not that it couldn't happen, but for people who could build a plane like that, they could land a good engineering job and in that case, they probobly wouldn't have then incentive to steal credit card numbers in the first place.

There's so much sensationalism. The news media takes advantage of the publics lack of knowlege about technology and exploits their worst fears for ratings. The worst part is that they don't tell you what you can do to protect your self. They just say to use a secure closed network without telling you what that is, nor directing you to a resource that can tell you more if you're interested. So what's mom and dad supposed to do when they watch that report? They must be terrified.

That plane might be a dangerous weapon, but the most dangerous weapon of all is the media and their control of public perception.
One solution I see is to fly directly over the hot spots, instead of drive beside them.
In the past I’ve been thinking about using a blimp with an android Phone as payload to control it via the camera and cellular network, and to do the Wifi scanning.

An advantage of using a blimp instead of a RC plane is that it is much less fuel-hungry and could be powered with batteries.

A drawback for the smaller (and cheaper) blimps is they can only be operated indoors as they are very sensitive to wind. Also I don’t know if the authorities here like it if they see a drone-blimp flying above the city, maybe I can only fly during wind-calm nights ;-)

Postby KH » Fri May 18, 2012 7:31 am

The CNN video on the page was rediculous. "Wardrivers are going to hack into your computer with an RC plane and steal your credit card numbers."
Yes. And you can imagine the original quote they got out of the interview is "yes this could overhear credit card numbers when they are transmitted insecurely which is a violation of the payment card industry standards anyway". But this is just my imagination fueled by experiences with tech-related interviews.

The current quadcopters could make this whole concept cheaper but do note the very short flying times of those quadcopters.

Postby helen » Tue Oct 30, 2012 6:11 am

The Spitfire V2 RC planes from Dynam look stunning just like a real plane. They are very stable and capable of maintaining flight even at very low speeds that allows novices to master flight mechanics.
I also wondered about this as I have some R/C aircraft. Problem is, flying them over houses is really not a very good idea.

I was also concerned that the signal strengths might be disproportionately strong as there will be less obstructions, so it might drag the positions of a lot of APs towards the aircraft location.

Also, a spitfire is the last model aircraft you should buy if a beginner at flying them. The aerodynamics are absolutely terrible when scaled down. The eliptical wing leads to "tip stalls" also known as a spin, but basically it's an uncommanded, sudden, roll-over and dive.

There is also the possibility of the wifi interfering with the radio control, especially as most people use 2.4GHz for this now, and having a transmitter in a nearby band right next to the receiver is not a good idea.

Postby dnr » Tue Nov 06, 2012 12:38 pm

Wind and low altitudes bad for blimps.

I still say we can try the warflying with RC aircraft - you could just mount your smartphone to the craft!

I guess so far it looks like the Galaxy smart phone is picking up and identifying wifi signals upto about 40 feet? It should be the same overhead. I would use RC craft for TALL buildings - as you need to go UP to detect signals.

As far as flying over suburbia or city, I think we can just drive or walk.. I just did mt clemens on a walk - check out market/main/gratiot
?? what are they talking about ? You build that plane and you hack in systems ? sounds crazy. I get the jamming signals thing, easy, ok, but why should it be easier to hack in ? just because you have a high SNR ? You can do that from ground anyway. And if you hack in it just means you got no IDS systems setup. Difference between a cheap and expensive WiFi infrastructure...you got to pay security... but yeah...they are news and I'm used to hear these things unfortunately.
yep it's been done for sure in Atlanta that I know of. The guy was hired by the state of GA to do recon on wi fi security and used a Cessna 172 RG aircraft to pick up signals. The write up was on " Hacking for Dummies" 2nd edition Page 163 copyright 2007 called "A case study with Matt Caldwell on hacking wireless networks" Hope it helps.

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