Date of Award
Master of Science in Cyber Operations
Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering
Barry E. Mullins, PhD
The commercial drone market has grown rapidly due to the increasing utility and capabilities of drones. This new found popularity has made it possible for inexpensive drones capable of impressive carry capacities and flight times to reach the consumer market. These new features also offer an invaluable resource to wireless hackers. Capitalizing on their mobility, a wireless hacker can equip a drone with hacking tools to surpass physical security (e.g. fences) with relative ease and reach wireless networks. This research seeks to experimentally evaluate the ability of a drone-mounted wireless attack platform equipped with a directional antenna to conduct wireless attacks effectively at distances greater than 800 meters. To test this hypothesis, the “skypie v2” prototype conducts computer network attacks against a target network and captured data is used to evaluate the effectiveness of the platform. Results showed that capture of a WPA2 handshake was possible at a RSSI of -72 dBm or 2400 meters from a network located in a open field. Additionally, nmap scans were conducted with a RSSI value of -74 dBm or nearly 3000 meters from the target network.
Barker, Nathan V., "Development of a Drone-Mounted Wireless Attack Platform" (2020). Theses and Dissertations. 3224.