Jon Warner of Argonne National Laboratories set out to examine GPS security one Saturday afternoon. Jon is part of the Vulnerability Assessment Team (VAT), a small group whose goal is to uncover flaws in our systems so that they can be fixed. â€œWe try to think like the bad guys,â€ Jon said, â€œso that we can plug the holes they might use.â€
To test out GPS security, Roger Johnston, head of the VAT, challenged the team to 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 driversâ€™ 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 â€œspoofâ€ GPS information, he or she could hijack the truck and steal the cargo without being noticed.