Suicidal Islamic terrorist may be replaced by cyber terrorist. I guess they’ll have to find some other way to fulfill their dreams of seventy-two high breasted virgins,
Professor Todd Humphreys and his team at the University of Texas took a laptop computer, an antenna, and a little device they built for $3000 and proved they could take control of the GPS navigation systems of ships or commercial airliners without the pilots being aware they had been hijacked. This was one of the minor stories carried by Fox News last Friday.
The professor and his team were invited onto a $80 million 210 foot super yacht in the Mediterranean Sea to test the abilities of their GPS Spoofer.
By feeding counterfeit radio signals to the yacht, the UT team was able to drive the ship far off course, steer it left and right, potentially take it into treacherous waters, even put it on a collision course with another ship. All the time, the ship’s GPS system reported the vessel was calmly moving in a straight line, along its intended course. No alarms, no indication that anything was amiss.
Capt. Andrew Schofield, who invited Humphreys and his team aboard to conduct the experiment told Fox News he and his crew were stunned by the results.
“Professor Humphreys and his team did a number of attacks and basically we on the bridge were absolutely unaware of any difference,” Schofield said. “I was gobsmacked — but my entire deck team was similarly gobsmacked,” he told Fox News.
Gobsmacked? I guess that’s synonymous with stunned.
The professor explained that his “GPS Spoofer” could also be used to take control of a commercial airliner, since they too use GPS navigation systems these days.
Maybe Homeland Security and the NSA have more to worry about than some low-level contractor spilling the beans about domestic spying. Meanwhile, for those of you who travel by air or sea, you have more to worry about, too.
Well, that’s what I’m thinking. What are your thoughts?