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Car SatNav Gives Another Opportunity to Hackers

There has emerged another flaw in the 'satellite-based navigation systems', which British motorists use to read directions. Hackers could exploit this flaw against potential victims.

Drivers may find it convenient to use the computer systems to reach destinations but some trouble-making computer specialist could be controlling the system and misguiding them on the road, reported The Sunday Telegraph. People who follow instructions from the Internet or by using equipments available for up to 100 pounds from electronic stores, fraudsters or even terrorists could be trapped in major traffic disruption or some other deliberate hassle.

Inverse Path, a company situated in U.K. demonstrated at a conference in Canada on how the scam works. Andreas Barisani of Inverse Path said it was very simple. The navigation system could block roads, create queues and redirect people elsewhere by someone misusing it. United Press International reported this on May 6, 2007.

An auto driver could direct all the traffic to clear a particular route for his own. The uses could be varied, said Barisani. The existing system for delivering traffic information is based on an old technology. There could be an improved system using encrypted messages.

While experienced people like Barisani emphasize on technology up-gradation, Sheila Rainger on behalf of her organization, RAC Foundation suggested drivers to use their thinking power in place of the system itself.

She questioned the ultimate worth of sat navs if instead of alerting people about traffic congestion they created one, lowering people's confidence in the system. Telegraph.co.uk reported this, May 7 2007.

The strength of sat navs is beneficial for the driver, helpful to disperse congestion and favorable for the environment because one is not amidst a jam.

The sat navs should serve as an assistance tool, not a substitute for the brain. Vehicle owners shouldn't surrender all their sense of routes and directions to that device. It is always possible to contact the operator if the driver finds strange directions from his sat nav system.

Earlier researchers at Inverse Path succeeded in sending messages such as about weather conditions or even alerts about terrorist attacks into their personal sat nav system.

Related article: CRA Warns Canadian Taxpayers about phishing E-Mails

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