In fact, the era of the single-purpose radio is over, says Michael Ossmann, the founder of an Evergreen, Colorado company called Great Scott Gadgets. And he believes he’s built the one cheap, hacker-friendly radio to rule them all.
And at Ossmann’s target price of $300, the versatile, open-source devices would cost less than half as much as currently existing software-defined radios with the same capabilities.
In a presentation at the Black Hat and Defcon security conference for instance, French security researcher Andre Costin presented vulnerabilities in the next-generation air traffic control system known as ADS-B that he said would allow a hacker with a software-defined radio to track and even spoof planes in the sky, potentially creating dangerous distractions for pilots. The more accessible software-defined radios become, he warned, the more that threat materializes.