If you think buying/having a "smartphone" today is wise, think again
(too old to reply)
Thad Floryan
2014-06-08 06:01:17 UTC
I posted the following article to comp.dcom.telecom and it'll probably
appear Sunday or Monday depending on that group's moderator.

The accompanying video cited below at the end is an eyeopener and a
very definite must-watch since man-in-the-middle attacks on all
smartphones is trivially simple as is highjacking drones.

This article:


is episode 3 of a 3-episode series; episodes 1 and 2 are linked at the
end of this posting of episode 3's extract for the curious.

Following is an extract from the beginning of the above article:

The headline was published on a trusted news site that I read off of my
iPhone. It stunned me into disbelief: "A 9.5 Magnitude Earthquake
Destroys Central California, Splits State Into Northern and Southern
Halves," it read. Fortunately for the inhabitants of the Golden State,
this was not real news. Rather, it was some crafty misinformation that
was wirelessly injected into my phone by a hacker named Samy Kamkar.

In our third and final episode of "Phreaked Out" we tackle the question
of mobile phone security. With global smartphone ownership expected to
hit nearly 1.75 billion by the end of 2014, the threat of phone attacks
is becoming as democratized as ever. Anyone with a smartphone is
exploitable; any smartphone can be compromised. The control we thought
we had over our devices has increasingly eroded away. The
sophistication levels of our mobile devices allow them to moonlight as
spy tools capable of the absolute worst case scenario: turning on their

It's a sobering reality that fascinates Kamkar. I met up with the
security polymath -- the same Samy Kamkar responsible for the virus that
knocked out MySpace in 2005 -- at his Tony Spark-esque enclave in West
Hollywood for a series of phone hack demos.

To begin, Kamkar recreated a man-in-the-middle mobile attack, whereby he
created an unencrypted, wireless network that combines ARP and DNS
spoofing intended to modify content on any phone that joins it.

The demonstration illustrated how eager our smartphones can be to
automatically hop onto any previously accessed network. For example, by
forging a commonly dubbed wifi name, such as "attwifi" or "Starbucks,"
Kamkar can dupe phones into thinking it's joining a secure network. He
admits that this man-in-the-middle style attack is by no means cutting
edge, but it still works because many phones are still susceptible.

Ever stop to think that phones can graduate from hacking target to
hacking assailant? On the heels of Kamkar's headline-swapping trick, he
showed us how phones and tablets can be instrumental in controlling
drones that then hack each other in the sky. Our cameras were rolling
for Kamkar's first ever, live demonstration of his zombie drone hack.
He calls it Skyjack.

Here's how it worked: Kamkar spun up a "master" drone to detect any
wireless signals from other exploitable drones (currently limited to the
Parrot AR.Drone for now). Once a signal is identified, the master drone
injects packets to the Parrot's unprotected network, enabling it to
de-authenticate the target drone from its owner. In this case, Kamkar
programmed the zombified drone to perform a flip once its controls were
hijacked by the master drone.

Kamkar was inspired by Amazon's far-fetched but not implausible drone
delivery service. Here, the phone or tablet-controlled Skyjack can
exploit weaknesses in the open networks of some of today's drones. So
think twice before ordering a pricey Leica M9 digital camera using
Amazon's Prime Air drone service because a more spiteful hacker than
Kamkar might just be able to reroute it to their doorstep. (To be fair,
Amazon will likely have thought of this scenario by the time it brings
drone delivery to market.)

{ article continues at the URL cited at the beginning of this posting }

The video supporting this phone hacks article is here:

runtime 19:06

For the curious who would like to see the first two episodes of the
3-part "Phreaked Out" series:

Unlocking L.A.'s Traffic Grid: Phreaked Out (Episode 1)
runtime 10:00

How to Hack a Car: Phreaked Out (Episode 2)
runtime 12:15

Julian Macassey
2014-06-28 14:07:54 UTC
Post by Thad Floryan
To the reasonably well equipped and determined cracker,
most WiFi enabled stuff is accessable. I have had demonstrated to
me a way to access WPA 2 (Enterprise) networks.
The conscious and intelligent manipulation of the organized habits and
opinions of the masses is an important element in democratic society.
- Edward Bernays