Scam of the day – March 28, 2014 – The threat of drones hacking your smartphone

As I always say, “things aren’t as bad as you think, they are far worse.”  Researchers in London have developed a new software called “Snoopy” which can be used with a drone to steal information from your smartphone that can turn you into a victim of identity theft.  Although it sounds like something out of science fiction, the idea is simple.  It starts with a recent federal court decision permitting commercial drones to fly in US airspace.  The Snoopy software can be installed on the drone which can fly around the area where you are and pick up your smartphone’s attempt to find a close WiFi network.  Snoopy picks up the signal from the smartphone and poses as one of those Wifi connections.  Once the smartphone user has unwittingly connected to what appears to be a safe Wifi network, Snoopy is able to steal information from the connected smartphone and use it to make the phone owner a victim of identity theft.

TIPS

Although hackers are not yet using this hacking method, you can expect it to be happening soon.  The best course of action for smartphone users and anyone connecting to a WiFi network remains the same as always.  Have encryption software on your smartphone or other electronic devices and also make sure that you install anti-virus software and anti-malware software on all of your electronic devices as well and keep these programs up to date with the latest security patches.  Finally, only use WiFi networks that indicate that they are secure.