CIO Today

CIO Today Network Sites:   Top Tech News  |   CIO Today   |   Mobile Tech Today   |   Data Storage Today
Daily Briefing for Technology's Top Decision-Makers
Eliminate costly downtime!
Find out how with Free White Paper
& enter to win a Samsung Galaxy Note

www.apc.com
Sunday, April 20th 
The future of tape is here.
Trending Topics:   Security Heartbleed Big Data Cloud Computing Windows XP Data Centers OS X Mavericks
Home
Enterprise Software
Enterprise Hardware
Big Data
Network Security
Cloud Computing
CRM Systems
Data Storage
Operating Systems
Communications
CIO Issues
Mobile Tech
Chips & Processors
World Wide Web
Business Briefing
After Hours
Press Releases
 
Free Newsletters
Top CIO News
 
Mobile Tech Today
 

Digital Life

Researchers Hijack Yacht's GPS, Alter Its Course

Researchers Hijack Yacht
July 30, 2013 2:14PM

Bookmark and Share
The research team's efforts suggest that hacking could pose a bigger threat than previously recognized for GPS systems of various kinds of vehicles. For instance, in 2012 Humphreys and a team of students were able to similarly capture a GPS-guided unmanned aerial vehicle or drone. The team has also raised the question of whether large aircraft are similarly vulnerable.

APC has an established a reputation for solid products that virtually pay for themselves upon installation. Who has time to spend worrying about system downtime? APC makes it easy for you to focus on business growth instead of business downtime with reliable data center systems and IT solutions. Learn more here.

To the list of vulnerable technologies, it's time to add shipboard GPS. A research team from the University of Texas at Austin has demonstrated for the first time that a ship's GPS can be tricked.

Todd Humphreys, team leader and assistant professor at UT, told news media that ship captains have "come to trust their electronic chart displays." The onboard chart display tracks unencrypted, civilian GPS signals, but, as this experiment demonstrates, the system is defenseless against counterfeit signals.

Humphreys said that the concept of spoofing a shipboard GPS "has been known for maybe 20 years." The team's briefcase-sized spoofing device, the first publicly acknowledged one of its kind, generates fake GPS signals, which eventually replaced genuine GPS signals received by the custom-built shipboard navigational system on the White Rose of Drachs, a 213-foot, $80 million yacht.

Drones, Airplanes

The purpose of the experiment was to see if such a spoofing attack could be carried out at sea and to determine if the ship could detect the fake signals and the altered path. The experiment indicated that the ship's command system, which will generate an alarm if the GPS signal is blocked or jammed, could not differentiate between a fake GPS and an actual GPS signal.

The research team's efforts suggest that hacking could pose a bigger threat than previously recognized for GPS systems of various kinds of vehicles. For instance, in 2012 Humphreys and a team of students were able to similarly capture a GPS-guided unmanned aerial vehicle or drone. The team has also raised the question of whether aircraft, which are commonly operated via autopilot systems, are similarly vulnerable.

Humphreys said in a statement that, "with 90 percent of the world's freight moving across the seas and a great deal of the world's human transportation going across the skies, we have to gain a better understanding of the broader implications of GPS spoofing." He added that it wasn't clear, until the experiment was performed, how feasible it was to "spoof a marine vessel and how difficult it is to detect this attack."

Turning the Ship

The experiment took place last month on the White Rose of Drachs on its voyage from Monaco to Greece in the Mediterranean Sea. The GPS capture occurred while the yacht was 30 miles off the coast of Italy in international waters.

The team broadcast the spoofed GPS signals from the upper deck of the yacht, and were able to slowly overpower the authentic signals as they took control of the vehicle's navigational system. It's not clear from the team's experiment how feasible it would be to similarly hijack a ship's GPS system from a remote location.

When the team gained control of the navigational system, they were able to subtly steer the ship several degrees from its original course. Each time a location discrepancy was reported by the navigational system, the crew undertook a course correction, but the overall result after many course corrections was a somewhat different path than had originally been planned -- hundreds of meters from its intended route.

Humphreys said that "the ship actually turned and we could all feel it, but the chart display and the crew saw only a straight line."

Tell Us What You Think
Comment:

Name:



 Digital Life
1. Cortana Fills Windows Phone Gap
2. Galaxy S5 Phone: Less Can Be More
3. Beware: Facebook Shares Your Locale
4. Easter Egg! Microsoft's Clippy Is Back
5. Poll: A Mix of Feelings on Future Tech




 Most Popular Articles
1. BlackBerry Drops T-Mobile After Nasty Spat
2. Cisco, IBM Launch Internet of Things Consortium
3. Salesforce CRM Gets Industry Specific for Internet of Customers
4. Intel Bets on Cloudera for Big Data Analytics
5. SAP HANA Data Warehouse App Gets Faster Analytics

Have an informed opinion on this story?
Send a Letter to the Editor.
We want to know what you think.
Send us your Feedback.

 Related Topics  Latest News & Special Reports

  Galaxy S5 Phone: Less Can Be More
  Heartbleed Exploit Could Cost Millions
  Poll: A Mix of Feelings on Future Tech
  Google, Rockstar Suit Stays in Calif.
  Michaels: Nearly 3M Cards Breached

 Technology Marketplace
Business Intelligence
Get real-time, cloud-based information services with Neustar.
 
Cloud Computing
Next Generation Data Center Is Here! Vblock™ Systems from VCE
 
Contact Centers
HP delivers the future of the contact center with HP Qfiniti 10.
 
Data Storage
Next Generation Data Center Is Here! Vblock™ Systems from VCE
Barium Ferrite (BaFe) is the future of tape.
2.5" Enterprise-class SATA & SAS SSDs for server & storage applications
 
Enterprise Hardware
Barium Ferrite (BaFe) is the future of tape.
2.5" Enterprise-class SATA & SAS SSDs for server & storage applications
 
Hardware
Protect your network with APC Smart-UPS battery backup
 
Network Security
Protect your network with APC Smart-UPS battery backup
 

Network Security Spotlight
Heartbleed Could Cost Millions, Could Have Been Prevented
Early estimates of Heartbleed’s cost to enterprises are running in the millions. The reason: revoking all the SSL certificates the bug exposed will come at a very hefty price. Some say it all could have been avoided.
 
Michaels Says Nearly 3M Credit, Debit Cards Breached
Arts and crafts retail giant Michaels Stores has confirmed that a data breach at its POS terminals from May 2013 to Jan. 2014 may have exposed nearly 3 million customer credit and debit cards.
 
Google's Street View Software Unravels CAPTCHAs
The latest software Google uses for its Street View cars to read street numbers in images for Google Maps works so well that it also solves CAPTCHAs, those puzzles designed to defeat bots.
 

Enterprise Hardware Spotlight
Vaio Fit 11A Battery Danger Forces Recall by Sony
Using a Sony Vaio Fit 11A laptop? It's time to send it back to Sony. In fact, Sony is encouraging people to stop using the laptop after several reports of its Panasonic battery overheating.
 
Continued Drop in Global PC Shipments Slows
Worldwide shipments of PCs fell during the first three months of the year, but the global slump in PC demand may be easing, with a considerable slowdown from last year's drops.
 
Google Glass Finds a Home in Medical Education, Practice
The innovative headpiece may find its niche in markets where hands-free access to data can be a big advantage. Glass experiments for doctors are already under way, with some promising results.
 

Mobile Technology Spotlight
Review: Siri-Like Cortana Fills Windows Phone Gap
With the new Cortana virtual assistant, Windows catches up with Apple's iOS and Google's Android in a major way, taking some of the best parts of Apple's and Google's virtual assistants, with new tools too.
 
With Galaxy S5, Samsung Proves Less Can Be More
Samsung has produced the most formidable rival yet to the iPhone 5s: the Galaxy S5. The device is the fifth edition of the company's successful line of Galaxy S smartphones, and shows less can be more.
 
Facebook Rolls Out Potentially Intrusive Location-Sharing
Looking for friends? Facebook users in the U.S. will soon be able to see which of their friends are nearby, using a smartphone's GPS. Could be a cool feature in some cases, or way too much information.
 

Navigation
CIO Today
Home/Top News | Enterprise Software | Enterprise Hardware | Big Data | Network Security | Cloud Computing | CRM Systems
Data Storage | Operating Systems | Communications | CIO Issues | Mobile Tech | Chips & Processors | World Wide Web
Business Briefing | After Hours | Press Releases
Also visit these Enterprise Technology Sites
Top Tech News | CIO Today | Mobile Tech Today | Data Storage Today

Services:
FreeNewsFeed | Free Newsletters | XML/RSS Feed

About CIO Today Network | How To Contact Us | Article Reprints | Services for PR Pros (In partnership with NewsFactor) | Top Tech Wire | How To Advertise

Privacy Policy | Terms of Service
© Copyright 2000-2014 CIO Today. All rights reserved. Article rating technology by Blogowogo. Member of Accuserve Ad Network.