DESCRIPTION: To test out GPS security, researchers demonstrate how to steal a cargo truck and get away with it. Cargo trucks generally contain a GPS tracking device which relays position and speed information to a central office. This enables freight companies to track their drivers’ locations and ensure that trucks are on course. If a truck veers off course, it sets off an alarm at headquarters. If an attacker could falsify or “spoof” GPS information, he or she could hijack the truck and steal the cargo without being noticed.
PLACE: Carroll County
DESCRIPTION: Homeowner Al Byrd relayed a conversation with the wrecking crew in which they indicated that the GPS coordinates led them to that address and the house matched the description they had. A terrible mistake resulted in a house that Byrd’s father built himself in 1950 and still held family heirlooms being completely leveled.
PLACE: Capri Island
DESCRIPTION: A Swedish couple looking for the pristine waters of the popular island of Capri ended some 400 miles (660 kilometres) away in the northern industrial town of Carpi after misspelling the destination on their car’s GPS.
PLACE: Point Reyes, California
PLACE: British Columbia
DESCRIPTION: Unaware that GPS directions omit seasonal conditions, a couple took a road that became impassable after nine kilometres of travel. The man got lost searching for help. The woman was rescued after 49 days.
PLACE: The Map Room
PLACE: San Bruno, California
DESCRIPTION: Omissions or data-entry errors made when the central management system was developed – and left uncorrected – may explain why Pacific Gas and Electric Co was unaware that the 1956-vintage pipeline had been built with a seam.