Waze is a smartphone navigation app that uses crowd sourced information to report traffic jams and suggest routes. Last year the app announced that it was adding celebrity voices so you can get navigation prompts from your favorite stars. A group of students from Technion have created an attack against the app that users won’t appreciate.
The students created a program that is able to disrupt the navigation system causing the app to report fake traffic jams to users. Reports of fake traffic jams caused the app to redirect users. Interestingly, the instructors overseeing the students were who reported the issues to Waze.
Two students from the school created the program as part of their studies at the Technion in Haifa. The attack reportedly lasted for hours and forced thousands of drivers off their normal routes. Presumably the attack cost drivers time, and we all know time is money.
Waze says that it is looking onto methods to prevent this sort of attack from happening again. Waze can’t be happy that the students actually attacked the app using their program for hours rather than simply verifying the security hole and reporting it so users could get back to normal routes.