Doug Bedell — September 17, 2008, 8:25 am

Fooling GPS Systems to Waylay Trucks

Truckdrivers, like everyone else, need to know where they are going, only moreso. It may not be a great idea for truckers with sensitive loads to rely on GPS systems for directions.

Bruce Schneier passes along an account of how fake GPS signals can be transmitted from nearby vehicles to waylay a truck using GPS. “Portable GPS satellite simulators can fit in the trunk of a car, and are often used for testing,” goes the account. “They are available as commercial off-the-shelf products. You can also rent them for less than $1K a week…”

An attacker supposedly could drive within a half mile of a truck and override its GPS signals. 

How likely this sort of scenario may be is up to security officials to consider. Certainly the possibility is worth knowing about, and pondering. We’d hate to have to decide between “sensitive” and “nonsensitive” loads. Maybe a toy truck during the holidays could be a target for some sinister soul.

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