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Lunch and Learn: Rocking Drones With Intentional Sound Noise on Gyroscopic Sensors

Yunmok Son2nd year PhD studentKAIST

Talk Description: Sensors on embedded systems can be tricked by maliciously fabricated physical properties. In this paper, we investigated whether an adversary could incapacitate drones equipped
with Micro Electro Mechanical Systems (MEMS) gyroscopes using intentional sound noise. While MEMS gyroscopes are known to have mechanical resonant frequencies with sound that degrade their accuracy, it is not known whether this property can be exploited maliciously to disrupt the operation of drones. We discovered the resonant frequencies of several MEMS gyroscopes by scanning the frequencies under 30 kHz. The standard deviation of the resonant output from those gyroscopes was dozens of times larger than that of the normal output. Our real world experiments showed that in all 20 trials, one of two target drones equipped with vulnerable gyroscopes lost control and crashed shortly after we started our attack.
Yunmok Son is a 2nd year PhD student at the Department of Electrical Engineering, KAIST, from 2014. He received his BS and MS degree in Electrical Engineering from Kyungpook National University in 2007 and KAIST in 2009, respectively. Between 2009 and 2014, he worked 5 years for researching and developing RF system of embedded devices. His research interests are in security issues for cyber physical systems and embedded devices.

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Faculty Host

Kevin Fu