The Next Wave of Botnets Could Descend from the Skies

The SkyNet drone, built from a toy quadricopter and a small computer

Image credit: Stevens Institute of Technology

By Robert Lemos

The buzz starts low and quickly gets louder as a toy quadricopter flies in low over the buildings. It might look like flight enthusiasts having fun, but it could be a future threat to computer networks.

In two separate presentations last month, researchers showed off remote-controlled aerial vehicles loaded with technology designed to automatically detect and compromise wireless networks. The projects demonstrated that such drones could be used to create an airborne botnet controller for a few hundred dollars.


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