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Researcher Turns Normal Cats into War Kittehs Complete with WiFi Sniffers

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A common feature in today’s society is the cat. We see them all over the internet and when we chose to go outside we see them in our neighborhoods. What would happen if someone mobilized that arm of felines to do their bidding? I am not talking about mind control or a real army of cats here. Instead I am talking about simply outfitting some of these animals to collect WiFi data and report back. Think this is crazy? Well if someone can do it with a Google Street view car, why not with an animal as small and inconspicuous as a cat.

This is what researcher Gene Bransfield thought when he came up with the idea of using cats to snoop on WiFi signals. The concept is very simple, attach a device that can pick up WiFi information, add in a GPS to track the location of the device as well as some means to get it to report back (text maybe) and you have created a stealth packet sniffer.

The idea came from the GPS enabled collars that more and more people are loading their cats and dogs up with. If you can get one of those to respond to a command for locations, why not allow other data to be sent from it? Barnsfield’s first attempt at this was a little bit clunky (it was a dog coat with a phone attached), but he feels he can have a new and much more compact version ready for DEF CON 22 in August.

If this becomes a viable technology just imagine what other and more malicious things could be done using common animals. Even with current technology it would be potentially possible to block cellular, TV and WiFi signals with these mobile jammers.

Well, I guess that is one more thing to worry about at DEF CON as if we did not already have enough going on there with the bumps, data slurps, scans and everything else happening. We will be at DEF CON 22 and will be sure to get some pictures of any “War Kittehs” we encounter.

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Last modified on Monday, 23 June 2014 06:39
Sean Kalinich

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