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Communications of the ACM


Why GPS Spoofing Is a Threat to Companies, Countries

GPS spoofing, illustration

Credit: Spirent

When the crew of an $80-million super-yacht in the Ionian Sea checked its computer, they realized they were drifting slightly off course, likely as a result of strong currents buffeting their ship. The crew made adjustments and went back to work—without realizing they were now taking directions from a hacker.

In the bowels of the ship, Todd Humphreys, an associate professor in the Department of Aerospace Engineering and Engineering Mechanics at the University of Texas at Austin, worked with his team to feed the super-yacht's crew false navigation data using a few thousand dollars worth of hardware and software.


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