SAN ANTONIO, Texas. If you rely on your GPS to get around, you might want to pay attention. Forbes recently reported that hackers can spoof your GPS location and possibly send you driving in the wrong direction. The hack works when hackers use a device to find a location that looks similar on a map to your location, replacing your real destination with a false one.
Why is the hack more likely to work? Drivers have become savvy at using their GPS devices. We generally have a sense of what a road should look like based on our maps. So, in a typical hack, where the destination doesn’t match our current location at all, we might become suspect that something’s wrong. However, when it comes to the new and improved hack, the system finds locations on maps that are visually similar, thus making it much harder for drivers to tell when they’re on the wrong track.
Why might this put drivers at greater risks of accidents? Drivers who rely on hands-free GPS to get to their destination might start to use their phones once they suspect something is wrong. While drivers should stop and pull over, many drivers might be tempted to use their phones while driving. This could put them at greater risk for crashes. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, in 2016 alone, distracted driving killed 3,450 people. Another 391,000 were injured in car accidents due to distracted driving.
The hacking software that can spoof a GPS map costs around $200. But why would hackers want to hijack your next drive? Forbes notes that hackers might want to divert drivers so that they can ambush them after they have directed them to drive to remote locations. It is also possible that the hacking technology could potentially be used to hack driverless cars. Want to create a sudden city crippling traffic jam? All hackers would have to do is divert a few thousand cars onto a road with limited capacity.
The reality is that this is a hack that could have real-life and dangerous consequences. Forbes notes that encryption on GPS could help protect drivers from this hack.
So, what can you do if you suspect your car has been hacked? Pull over to check your phone. It is much riskier and less effective to get un-lost while actively driving. That said, if you are driving at night, it might be wise to pull over in a well-lit populated area.
The Begum Law Group are car accident lawyers in San Antonio, Texas who work closely with victims and families, helping them seek damages if they have been in a crash due to the negligence or distracted driving of another person on the road. If you’ve been hurt due to another driver’s actions, you may be entitled to seek damages for your lost wages, medical expenses, and pain and suffering damages. Visit our car accident attorneys at the Begum Law Group in San Antonio, Texas today.

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