GPS Spoofing: Good Servant, Bad Master

GPS Spoofing: Good Servant, Bad Master

Every smartphone and every tablet has a small antenna to tell the satellite exactly where you are. GPS spoofing is when you either force that antenna, or the module receiving the signal, to lie to the system and change the global location of the device.

This mechanic can be useful if you know how to use it, but it can be quite dangerous if someone is forcing your device to report its location falsely. And, with the increasing number of people using GPS services daily, protection against these kinds of attacks needs to become common knowledge.

While premium VPN plans like those provided by Le VPN can protect you from location spoofing through your IP address, you will want your GPS disabled and anti-spyware software running at all times.

How is GPS Spoofing Done?

Spoofing a GPS location is very simple for a single device, as you only need to send false information to the receiver to negate or change your location. For wider coverage, a spoofer would need a broad antenna that would overwhelm a larger receiver entirely and prevent it from getting information from any other device.

As the type of data received is fairly simple and inside easily reproduced radio waves, the technology needed is not at all advanced. But, if you want to trick the satellite that you are somewhere else, you will need some specialized software just for that purpose.

Sending a fake location through data such as 4G or 5G is much easier, and harder to force upon others.

GPS Spoofing: Good Servant, Bad Master. | Le VPN

Is GPS Spoofing Illegal?

Legality, in this case severely depends on the region and purpose of the spoof. In most countries, it is not illegal to change the projected GPS location of your own device unless it is to purposely damage and deceive someone.

But, almost all countries in the world will prosecute spoofing devices from other people without their express knowledge and permission. This can be considered tempering and is on the same level as tinkering with someone’s car without them knowing.

Finally, if you are to affect any type of mass transport, civilian or military aircraft, or public service with your spoof, you would be looking at martial or terrorism charges with very high penalties.

Who Benefits from Spoofing?

The same people who can benefit from stealing your private data can also benefit from spoofing your devices. This can range from individual hackers to members of organized crime.

But, you can also benefit from spoofing your GPS signal, if you want to be present from a different location on your device.

Risks of Being Spoofed

If you are a victim of unwanted spoofing, there can be three types of risks for either you, your devices, or your data.

Some issues are simply slight annoyances, especially if you already have a cybersecurity system in place. Others can be serious issues that can even endanger your life.

Generally, it is best to protect yourself from all types of spoofing attacks and be on the safe side than to risk getting yourself in danger. It is much better to have redundancies for your need to use GPS services than to be spoofed.

Serious Risks

Money may sound important, but it is nothing compared to your life. Criminals may be able to fake the GPS location of your phone and prevent someone from finding you through your device. This is especially troublesome for children coming back from long school trips.

If you are tracking someone, you can be fed a wrong location, hiding the trail or putting the search party in even more danger.

While not common in the US, these types of GPS blocking and spoofing attacks became common in rural places of South America.

Annoyances

Not dangerous, but annoying, you may have people trying to fool you with a false location. There is a fake GPS location APK for apps like Tinder than can change where someone is showing.

This type of spoofing is often done by catfishers that are trying to trick you out of your time and money.

Cybersecurity Risks

By feeding false information to some of your apps, a GPS spoof can gain security access to one app and infect it.

If your internet is not connected and encrypted through a VPN and secured by an anti-spyware software, there is a distinct possibility of your devices and personal data quickly falling into the hands of hackers.

How to Prevent GPS Spoofing?

There is currently no way to keep your GPS functioning normally while getting spoofed. The only thing you can do for GPS Spoofing is prevent it from messing with your device.

There is software that can detect an attack and remove your device from the system, forcing your apps to think that you are standing still.

But, it is much easier to simply disable your GPS whenever you don’t need it and use your data instead.

Can You Spoof Your Own Devices?

Those who are familiar with what is TOR and how to use it now how easy it is to change your location using data. And it can be quite useful.

Spoofing your GPS location is not hard, but it is also useless. It will mean nothing if you want to disable Geo-restrictions as that goes through data, and if you want to disable your GPS, it is usually just a single button on your smartphone.

Conclusion

Spoofing a GPS signal doesn’t need to be bad, but can be used for fairly malicious purposes.

Those conscious about their cybersecurity will disable their GPS and use reputable VPN providers like Le VPN to remove geo-restrictions from their devices safely.

Subscribe Today!

Get Le VPN from $4.95 per month with a 7-Day Money-Back Guarantee and
Enjoy the Internet by Your Own Rules!

NO LOGS

SERVERS IN 120+ COUNTRIES

P2P ALLOWED

EASY TO USE APP

7-DAY MONEYBACK GUARANTEE

SMARTDNS & HYBRIDVPN

CONNECT 5 DEVICES AT ONCE

ULTRA HIGH SPEEDS

Written by Vuk Mujović @VukMujovic

Vuk Mujović

Vuk Mujović is the founder of MacTíre Consulting, an analyst, data management expert, and a long-term writer on all things business & tech. He authored blogs, articles, and opinion pieces aimed to help both companies and individuals achieve growth without compromising their security. Vuk is a regular guest author to Le VPN Blog since January 2018, where he gives his expert opinion on the topics related to cybersecurity, privacy, online freedom, and personal data protection. He also often shares his tips and best practices in relation to internet security and digital safety of private individuals and small businesses, including some additional applications of using a VPN service.

Leave Comment