All your GPS are belong to us: Towards stealthy manipulation of road navigation systems

Kexiong Zeng, Shinan Liu, Yuanchao Shu, Dong Wang, Haoyu Li, Yanzhi Dou, Gang Wang, Yaling Yang

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution


Mobile navigation services are used by billions of users around globe today. While GPS spoofing is a known threat, it is not yet clear if spoofing attacks can truly manipulate road navigation systems. Existing works primarily focus on simple attacks by randomly setting user locations, which can easily trigger a routing instruction that contradicts with the physical road condition (i.e., easily noticeable). In this paper, we explore the feasibility of a stealthy manipulation attack against road navigation systems. The goal is to trigger the fake turn-by-turn navigation to guide the victim to a wrong destination without being noticed. Our key idea is to slightly shift the GPS location so that the fake navigation route matches the shape of the actual roads and trigger physically possible instructions. To demonstrate the feasibility, we first perform controlled measurements by implementing a portable GPS spoofer and testing on real cars. Then, we design a searching algorithm to compute the GPS shift and the victim routes in real time. We perform extensive evaluations using a trace-driven simulation (600 taxi traces in Manhattan and Boston), and then validate the complete attack via real-world driving tests (attacking our own car). Finally, we conduct deceptive user studies using a driving simulator in both the US and China. We show that 95% of the participants follow the navigation to the wrong destination without recognizing the attack. We use the results to discuss countermeasures moving forward.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationProceedings of the 27th USENIX Security Symposium
PublisherUSENIX Association
Number of pages18
ISBN (Electronic)9781939133045
StatePublished - 2018
Externally publishedYes
Event27th USENIX Security Symposium - Baltimore, United States
Duration: Aug 15 2018Aug 17 2018

Publication series

NameProceedings of the 27th USENIX Security Symposium


Conference27th USENIX Security Symposium
Country/TerritoryUnited States

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Computer Networks and Communications
  • Information Systems
  • Safety, Risk, Reliability and Quality


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