GPS spoof hacking can really mess with your buses

GPS hacking is here.  Hacking killed 17 U.S. sailors when GPS units of naval ships were hacked, and those same ships ran into merchant ships in the South China Sea.  Truckers are purchasing GPS jammers to block their bosses from seeing their locations and inadvertently knocking out airport communications when nearing the airports.

What’s all this mean for cities and schools?  More emergency planning and better security for mass transportation vehicles.  More and more cities and schools are relying on GPS to track fuel expenses, time on the road, routes, traffic and much more.  And that means that they are vulnerable to GPS hacking which can lead to elaborate plans for  vehicle accidents, armed robbery, mass shooting, kidnapping, and hostage-taking.

A simple GPS hack can show that traffic lanes are closed in many areas forcing the driver to reroute themselves.  Sure most mass transport vehicle operators know their way around their routes and the town itself, but if they are relying on GPS for alternate openings, this can lead to those emergency and disaster events listed above.  For a mere $225 you can purchase a spoofer and start hacking other GPS units.  

Should I take this seriously?

Should you worry?  Worry, no.  Plan, Yes.  You should start planning for more and more threats like these as hackers find new and innovative ways to wreak havoc. Threats are more advanced and more available to hackers. Remember, they are doing it for fun or nefarious reasons.  Critical infrastructure systems and high-value assets (people in vehicles) are targets for this type of attack.

What’s next

Organizations should review their GPS units and work with their providers to determine what security features are built-in.  Routine updates of software should be performed.  And for critical operations, risk managers should consider GPS threat blockers like the Talen-X.



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