Researchers from the University of Waterloo have discovered a WiFi security flaw that enables hackers to secretly track devices through walls.
Using a device called as the Wi-Peep attached to a drone, the researchers were able to fly over buildings and use the WiFi network to locate and identity the devices inside.
By going near the target and sending automatic WiFi messages, they can track any device within 3.3 ft. Response time is recorded and analyzed to estimate the location, accurate up to 1 meter. This loophole also work regardless if the network is password-protected or not.
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The Wi-Peep is built using an off-the-shelf drone and $20 of hardware attached to it. Exploits on WiFi security flaws have been tried before, but they used bulky and expensive devices. What makes this development interesting is that it’s smaller and relatively affordable.
To address the issue, the researchers recommend that WiFi chip manufacturers randomize the device response times to help make the location tracking become inaccurate.
Source: University of Waterloo