2011-08-05 From the latest blackhat conference: Fly ...
From the latest blackhat conference: Flying Drone Can Crack Wi-Fi Networks, Snoop On Cell Phones - Andy Greenberg - The Firewall - Forbes magazine. A bit of a sensationalist article, but the flying platform makes a lot possible and the described attacks on wifi and GSM are not new.
DIY Spy Drone Sniffs Wi-Fi, Intercepts Phone Calls - Threat level - Wired is less sensationalist and a better description. And the latest is at the Rabbit-Hole - DIY UAVs for Cyber Warfare – Wireless Aerial Surveillance Platform where the makers of this plane tell about their progress.
I would not mind having a plane like this flying around with an airborne version of the wardriving box. More a 'warflying box'. There is some mention of running kismet on the W.A.S.P.
For as far as I can find 'serious' model plane flying in the Netherlands requires some training and having a view of the plane, which a drone like the one above doesn't have. If you ask model airplane clubs you have to be a member to be allowed to fly a model airplane at all, but opinions outside those clubs are that light planes are permitted (up to a certain height) with permission of the owner of the land where you take of and land.
Update 2011-08-06: An interesting related story: Murdoch accused of operating illegal US air force withThe Daily may be in breach of FAA regs regarding "operations of unmanned aircraft in the National Airspace System". As Forbes notes, the FAA requires wannabe drone pilots to have an airworthiness certificate for their "Unmanned Aircraft System" (UAS) and an "experimental certificate" which limits them to "research and development, marketing surveys, or crew training".Reading the referenced article FAA Looks Into News Corp's Daily Drone, Raising Questions About Who Gets To Fly Drones in The U.S. notes the huge difference between hobby and commercial use:Hobbyists are basically free to use drones as long as they keep them under 400 feet. At this point, civil and commercial use of drones is only allowed for research and development purposes. “Not for compensation or hire” says one FAA notice. To get government permission to use a drone (for non-hobby purposes), a private entity has to jump through hoops including getting an airworthiness certificate — meaning the thing is safe to fly — and an experimental certificate, approving the planned use of the unmanned system (uses are currently limited to research and development, marketing surveys, or crew training).So Murdoch papers can have wet dreams about using something like the W.A.S.P. for news reporting but will find heavy resistance.