Humphreys is a University of Texas expert and is frequently consulted by law enforcement agencies and other government security experts. He said there may be other jammer incidents that have not been made public.
He said: “When I was questioned by the FBI, they often mentioned incidents of frequency jammer and even deception … but of course they did not reveal the details to me.”
Humphreys demonstrated how to use deception to use GPS for navigation to control a vehicle. In June 2012, he and several graduate students demonstrated the technology to Department of Homeland Security officials by commanding civilian drones; The following year, they had a larger run – a 213-foot superyacht – and tricked its GPS navigation system, causing the ship hundreds of meters to deviate from its course in the Mediterranean without issuing any vessel warnings.
Humphreys said these demonstrations require considerable effort and expense, and it is estimated that it took five years to develop “devices capable of simulating and then overwhelming real GPS signals.”
But last year, when Chinese technical experts showed the Defcon Hacking Conference how to use a $ 300 software radio to spoof a GPS, the situation changed dramatically.
Humphries said, “Now I have the ability to download what’s available online to a commercial RF card and build your own scooter.” “For those with little experience of RF work, it will only take a few hours.”
Humphries estimates that the result is that “since 2012, the difficulty of launching wave jammer attacks has decreased by about 100 times”.
Although interference “in the wild” is generally an annoying crime causing a brief interruption of the GPS or a fall of a cell phone tower when someone is nearby, the risk of cheating with inappropriate hands may be greater. tall.
As the head of NovAtel Soar said, “The runny-nosed kid in the bedroom can now be our worst nightmare.”
The police began to retaliate. Curry said, for example, that jammer detection equipment manufactured by Chronos Technology had been in use for about a year and “was starting to find a way to use it as standard.”