IEEE Spectrum Risk Factor: Commercial Drones and GPS Spoofers a Bad Mix, July 2012

“Researchers at the University of Texas at Austin Radionavigation Laboratory have successfully demonstrated that a drone with an unencrypted GPS system can be taken over by a person wielding a GPS spoofing device. You can see a video accompanying a Fox News story on it, as well as a video here of an experiment conducted by the researchers, led by Professor Todd Humphreys.

Humphreys and company were recently invited by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) to demonstrate whether their capability to successfully spoof commercial GPS systems in the laboratory could work in the field. Spoofing, as defined in this article by UT researchers, is “the transmission of matched-GPS-signal-structure interference in an attempt to commandeer the tracking loops of a victim receiver and thereby manipulate the receiver’s timing or navigation solution. A spoofer can transmit its counterfeit signals from a stand-off distance of several hundred meters or it can be co-located with its victim.”

Continue reading the IEEE Spectrum Risk Factor blog post.

Listen to an audio interview with Dr. Humphreys.