This DIY Device Lets You Hijack Drones In Mid-Air

A tutorial shows how a Parrot drone can be hacked over unprotected Wi-Fi
Parrot AR Drone 2.0 In Flight
Nicolas Halftermeyer, via Wikimedia Commons CC BY-SA 3.0

Cheap consumer drones are really just little computers on wings. It makes sense, then, that all it takes to disable one is another cheap computer, a wi-fi connection, and some technical know-how. Brent Chapman, an Army Cyber Warfare officer, already made a tool that remotely shuts off Parrot drones. Now, at Make, he’s made a full tutorial for people to make their own anti-drone kit.

To follow Chapman’s instructions, a person will need a Parrot AR Quadcopter 2.0, which runs about $200 new and can be found online and used for less. Then they’ll need a Raspberry Pi computer, which start at around $25.

Here’s how it works, from Chapman:

The step-by-step guide seems pretty intuitive, with both the mechanical assembly and coding spelled out. The vulnerability, it seems, would be easy for dronemakers Parrot to correct, if they so desired: simply add encryption or authorization to the system.