Not the droids you are looking for

The Star Wars Jedi mind-trick where Stormtroopers are staring at the droids that they are looking for, but have their collective consciousnesses misdirected, is a well known piece of film folklore.

This deception theme, generally, is a lot older than the 1977 (yes that’s right – 1977!) Star Wars film, and has been carried forward into everyday life to the point of being almost accepted now.

One of my webservices generates a weekly report of the Top 10 country IP addresses that have attempted to gain access to a certain website.

But I know how easy it is to deceive (we now say ‘spoof’) systems into believing that the point of origin of a security probe is over there (points left) when in actual fact the source of the probe is over there (points right).

And believe me, it’s very easy to do this.

Over Christmas I was introduced to a new level of technical deception (it’s still called ‘spoofing’ , so I’ll use that terminology’).

GPS spoofing is the practice of sending either a focused, tightbeam signal or a broadbeam broadcast that will make GPS systems believe they are somewhere that they aren’t.

And over Christmas I learned how to do GPS spoofing.

And I can do it.

With this laptop connected to one small, easily available piece of hardware, connected to an antenna, I can now spoof any GPS device, within my designated target area, into believing it is somewhere it isn’t.

Just think about the application of this skill for a minute.

GPS is hardwired into cars, lorries, boats, aeroplanes, submarines, guided missiles…

I could spoof all of these, within my designated target area, into believing they were somewhere else on this planet.

That’s an interestingly scary skill I now have.

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