HomeUncategorizedGPS Trackers Are A Godsend For Cyberpoachers

GPS Trackers Are A Godsend For Cyberpoachers

GPS Trackers: We often talk about who and how threatens you and your equipment. But humans are not the only victims of the consequences of hacking into insufficiently secure devices. Today we will talk about how modern technologies can be dangerous … for rare animals.

Scientists have long used special identification marks to learn more about the habits and habits of wild animals. It all started with the use of primitive things, such as rings with information engraved on them. But during the 20th century, many high-tech methods were invented, particularly the use of GPS trackers. These miniature devices allow researchers to know in real-time where the animal is.

Trackers For The Elite

The first trackers appeared several decades ago. Unlike devices from the 1990s, today’s GPS receivers are compact and can run on solar power for a long time without requiring constant battery replacement.

At the same time, high-quality, long-lived satellite beacons are expensive and only get to the elite – as a rule, the representatives of endangered species. Moreover, the data from the trackers satisfy the research interest of scientists and serve as a kind of signaling that notifies the workers of the reserves that the animal is in danger.

But Are GPS Trackers That Reliable?

Unfortunately, GPS beacons and the accounts that receive information can also be hacked. This means that there is a risk that the data on the whereabouts of the beast will be in the wrong hands. On the black market, they are ready to pay so much for the carcass of a rare animal that poachers will not stint even on the most expensive services of hackers.

To date, there are no proven cases of expensive GPS trackers being hacked, and yet stories of attacks on “tagged” animals pop up in the news now and then, which leads to disturbing thoughts.

Cause Of Death – Popularity?

For example, in December 2012, a GPS tracker collar indirectly caused the death of 832F, the most famous wolf in Yellowstone National Park. She was the pack leader, and for 17 years, her life was observed not only by researchers but also by tens of thousands of wildlife lovers.

However, its popularity may have ultimately led to its demise: 832F and eight other wolves, wearing cheaper and more vulnerable radio beacons, were tracked down by local hunters who thought the animals were a threat to livestock.

It’s still unclear exactly how they came up with the 832F specifically. Perhaps the hunters (who wished to remain anonymous) managed to hack into her tracker, by the way. Maybe they studied the habits of the famous beast well because information about the wolf’s movements has been in the public domain for many years.

Hunt Down The Tiger

In 2013, cyberpoachers appeared in the Panna National Park in India. In all likelihood, they wanted to track down a young Bengal tiger with a GPS collar that every hour transmitted information to scientists about the animal’s location with an accuracy of three meters.

The perpetrators attempted to hack into a locked mailbox that sent information about the tiger to the head of the monitoring program, Krishnamurthy Ramesh. Fortunately for the beast, the attack was unsuccessful. However, the data from the tracker came in encrypted form, and by simply stealing messages from Ramesh’s mailbox, attackers would not be able to use them.

The Main Thing Is Vigilance.

There are other cases where modern technologies designed to protect animals endanger their lives instead. This once again confirms that there is never too much security. Therefore, scientists should continuously carefully monitor accounts that collect valuable data and think twice before revealing the whereabouts of a rare animal to the general public, even with the best of intentions.

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