|'Snoopy' drone. Photo: courtesy|
London, England: Drones, once just used by the armed forces, are now used for everything from delivering cold beer to fishermen to taking photographs of reindeer as the civilian market booms.
The Snoopy drone is the latest example and it presents a different kind of threat- to your personal data.
The device, which can hack into smartphones and steal users' information, shows how vulnerable phones are to hacking.
Sensepoint security, based in London, developed the hacking device which searches for mobiles which are trying to connect to a wifi network.
Phones remember previously used networks which the snoopy application exploits by tricking your phone into thinking it's a network you've used before.
Once your phone connects it can access all sorts of information from passwords to location data.
On a test flight in London the device was able to obtain network names and GPS coordinates for about 150 mobile devices.
It stole Paypal Inc., Amazon and Yahoo credentials from people on the streets of London at random.
As well as stealing data, snoopy can also be used to build a profile of targets including working out how wealthy they are or the type of things they are likely to buy.
Sense point will be presenting their findings at a Black Hat Asia cybersecurity conference this week in Singapore.
They advise phone users who want to protect their data to turn off wifi connections when they're not needed and make sure their device asks before joining networks.