“The BBC is reporting that researchers from the University of Texas at Austin managed to hack an experimental drone by spoofing GPS signals. Theoretically, this would allow the hackers to direct the drone to coordinates of their choosing. ‘The spoofed drone used an unencrypted GPS signal, which is normally used by civilian planes, says Noel Sharkey, co-founder of the International Committee for Robot Arms Control. “It’s easy to spoof an unencrypted drone. Anybody technically skilled could do this – it would cost them some £700 for the equipment and that’s it,” he told BBC News. “It’s very dangerous – if a drone is being directed somewhere using its GPS, [a spoofer] can make it think it’s somewhere else and make it crash into a building, or crash somewhere else, or just steal it and fill it with explosives and direct somewhere. But the big worry is — it also means that it wouldn’t be too hard for [a very skilled person] to work out how to un-encrypt military drones and spoof them, and that could be extremely dangerous because they could turn them on the wrong people.”
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