“Indeed, both web pages and apps might behave differently if they “thought” that you were somewhere else instead of where you currently are.” – Chris P, PhoneArena.com
In recent times, people use VPN (Virtual Private Network) applications on the internet to trick networks into generating IP addresses native to other countries for their devices; this has been a very common tool.
However, there has been an increasing fear in the Global Positioning System (GPS) community of its tool being used for very divisive purposes. Though complex, when understood, people with in-depth knowledge of the GPS can manipulate it in ways unimaginable to the average person.
Most applications on our devices (mobile especially) these days, uses geo-location functions to render and offer their services. From games, to transport service apps like Uber and OgaTaxi, search engines like Google, social media apps like Facebook, Twitter, Skype, WhatsApp, the “Maps” app on your phones, etc. For these apps to serve you well, information about your location is key. Any variation from your location would change the way services are rendered.
How Does The GPS Work?
The GPS reports values using latitude and longitude to pin-point your location. It also returns your altitude and speed if you are moving as well as accuracy in meters. These values never remain constant, even when standing still.
Users can now manipulate GPS locations with apps that are actually very easy to get. Your Google play store now has apps that can trick, change your actual GPS locations – Spoofing apps are what they are called. Though most spoofing apps out there are quite unreliable, however, some are extremely effective. An extreme side of this is that an attacker can use these applications to hijack and trick or manipulate the GPS functions of other devices without the owner knowing.
A recent story on CNN narrates how several ships have basically gone missing in the black sea around Russia. The GPS coordinates of the ships showing they are in the middle of Russia, somewhere on dry land. This is indeed a very uncomfortable situation because, with this kind of tech, airplanes, defense and assault machines can be hijacked. Even your cars too, yes!
There are many applications to which one can use GPS spoofing. Whether for good or bad, this is just something we all have to deal with now.
By: Samson Ameh James.
- On November 20, 2017
- 0 Comments