Popular GPS Tracker Exposes Millions to Security Risks
Research company says Chinese-made tracker exposes users to dangerous hacking
Cybersecurity researchers announced this week that the Chinese-made MiCODUS MV720 GPS tracker has six severe vulnerabilities that could, if exploited, cut off a vehicle’s fuel, physically stop it, or surveil its movement.
A report by Boston-based cybersecurity firm BitSight says that there are 1.5 million MV720 trackers used in 169 countries. The tracker’s worldwide sales figures are staggering: 420,000 customers that include government, military, law enforcement agencies, and Fortune 1000 companies.
BitSight’s report came out at the same time that an advisory from the U.S. Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency also listed key tracker vulnerabilities. BitSight shared its research with the agency when its vulnerability disclosure efforts to MiCODUS were disregarded, the company said.
"If China can remotely control vehicles in the United States, we have a problem," said Richard Clarke, a national security expert and former presidential advisor on cybersecurity, in a statement. "With the fast growth in adoption of mobile devices and the desire for our society to be more connected, it is easy to overlook the fact that GPS tracking devices such as these can greatly increase cyber risk if they are not built with security in mind.”
The MiCODUS MV720 is a hardwired GPS tracker that features anti-theft, fuel cut off, remote control and geofencing capabilities. BitSight recommends that users “immediately cease using or disable any MiCODUS MV720 GPS trackers until a fix is made available by the company as there is no known workaround.”
The vulnerabilities the company discovered affecting the MiCODUS MV720 would allow for possible attack scenarios where “a bad actor could easily gain complete control over any GPS tracker of this type," said Pedro Umbelino, principal security researcher at BitSight, in a statement.
Check out 1440 - the fastest way to an impartial point-of-view. The team at 1440 scours over 100+ sources so you don't have to. Culture, science, sports, politics, business and everything in between - in a five-minute read each morning, 100% free.
TomTom Successfully Defends Proposed Class Action, Reports 2nd Quarter Loss
TomTom [TOM2.AS] has knocked down a proposed class action that alleged the company deceptively offered lifetime map updates on GPS navigation devices. A federal court said New York resident Francis McVetty’s amended version of an earlier complaint didn’t provide context of the label he relied on after purchasing the device, according to Bloomberg Law.
Overall, the court found that McVetty, who filed a similar lawsuit against Garmin [GRMN 0.00] that was voluntarily dismissed, put forth insufficient details about any alleged deception.
In other company news, TomTom, citing high inflation and supply chain issues, reported a quarterly operating loss of $55.5 million euros. This was worse than analysts’ forecast for loss of 20 million euros, according to published reports.
“Despite the uncertainties in the market, we remain confident that we can deliver on our initial guidance. We expect relatively flat Location Technology [division] revenue for 2022, and growth for 2023,” said Taco Titulaer, company CFO.
In late May, the company announced that it would slash 500 employees, equivalent to nearly 10 percent of the global headcount.
U-blox to Partner With Position Partners for PointPerfect GNSS Augmentation Services
Thalwil, Switzerland-based u-blox [UBXN] last week partnered with Position Partners to expand the company’s PointPerfect GNSS augmentation services to Australia and New Zealand.
Position Partners, a provider of intelligent positioning solutions to include real-time kinematic GNSS augmentation, sought to complement its AllDAYRTK offering, the company said. The product targets construction, mining, agriculture and other markets.
Position Partners also said u-blox’s GNSS augmentation service will be targeted to automotive, micromobility and industrial applications. The company said pay-as-you-go distribution models increase the service’s marketability.
By expanding PointPerfect service to Australia and New Zealand, u-blox said it is gaining a solid foothold on Asian markets. The PointPerfect service, which launched a year ago, is available in the United States and Europe.
Contact: Natacha Seitz, u-blox, 41 76 436 0788, firstname.lastname@example.org.
Get your company’s products and services in the 2022 Location Industry Yearbook!
Other Location News:
News tip? Send them to email@example.com. Go to www.locationbusinessnews.com for more news and an archive of stories.
🛰 Galileo 2nd Generation Takes 11 Leaps Forward. “A set of 11 procurements – adding up to a maximum of up to approximately 950 million euros – are being released over the course of July by ESA.”
👏 RHEA Launches Pathfinder for GNSS-based PNT Solutions. “RHEA Group is launching its first ever satellite, called DOVER Pathfinder, a SmallSat created as a pathfinder for resilient GNSS-based positioning, navigation and timing (PNT) solutions.”
🗺 Google Quietly Working on a New-Generation Google Maps Feature. “Last year, Google [GOOG 0.00] introduced fuel-efficient routes. However, it goes without saying that a specific route isn’t always as fuel-efficient for a specific car as it is for another.”
👍 What's New With the Maps App in iOS 16: Multi-stop Routing, Transit Card Support and More. “The iOS 16 Maps app didn't get as many changes as some of the other apps in the update, but there is at least one major change that's worth noting -- multi-stop routing.”
🚘 Apple's Self-Driving Car Effort Stuck in Low Gear: Report. “Buzz surrounding a potential Apple [AAPL 0.00 ] car began some eight years ago with the vehicles being touted as the first new ‘big thing’ from the company since its iconic co-founder Steve Jobs died in October 2011. However, self-driving Apple cars have had trouble on streets near its Silicon Valley headquarters…”
😮 SAE's Driving Automation Standard Is Not a Roadmap. “Level 5 is a fantasy destination for now…and consumers don’t even want to go there.”
💰 State Farm Invests in AV Startup May Mobility. “The Ann Arbor, Michigan-based autonomous ride-hail and shuttle startup announced that it had closed a $111 million Series C round of funding, with State Farm Ventures among the investors.”
🛩 Record-Setting Drone Could Change Maritime ISR - or Backstop GPS. “Airbus' giant, ultralight, ultra-high-endurance Zephyr S drone has stayed aloft for longer than any unmanned aircraft in history - and its success could bring new capabilities for maritime surveillance and GPS-like positioning.”
🤞 UK Government Gives the Green Light for World's Longest Drone 'Superhighway'. A group consisting of UTM, Altitude Angel, BT, EE, and a number of UK tech start-ups “will build and develop 165 miles of ‘drone superhighways’ connecting airspace above Reading, Oxford, Milton Keynes, Cambridge, Coventry, and Rugby over the next two years.”
😮 Homeland Security Records Show 'Shocking' Use of Phone Data, ACLU Says. “The data, harvested from apps on hundreds of millions of phones, allowed the Department of Homeland Security to obtain data on more than 336,000 location data points across North America.”
🤨 Planned Parenthood Data Found on Another Location Data Dashboard. “A free trial dashboard from INRIX listed Planned Parenthood as a ‘chain,’ with at least 71 locations in 35 states.”
Location Industry Briefs
Send your news releases to firstname.lastname@example.org. Go to www.locationbusinessnews.com for more news and an archive of stories.
Geotab Selected as Telematics Provider for the State of Ohio
Geotab, already a top telematics provider for government agencies across North America, has been selected as a telematics provider for the Ohio state government. The company, which did not disclose the transaction’s financial details, said the deal will “help fulfill the state’s need to advance its fleet management capabilities.”
The company said the deal is similar to Geotab’s cooperative sourcing contracts with Sourcewell, NASPO ValuePoint and the state of California, the state of Ohio contract “helps mitigate the burden of long RFP cycles and provides access to its suite of fleet management solutions including, Public Works, Keyless and the Electric Vehicle Suitability Assessment.” The contract enables government agencies in Ohio at the state and local level to equip fleet vehicles with Geotab’s connected vehicle technology, the company said.
Contact: Hanna Corrente, Geotab, email@example.com, www.geotab.com.
HERE Opens Krakow Center, To Hire 300 Software Engineers
HERE Technologies has announced plans to form a new research and development lab in Kraków, Poland. The company said it plans to hire as many as 300 software engineers at the site over the next two years, with a target to have 50 in place by the end of 2022.
HERE plans to develop its Kraków lab into a new hub alongside its core R&D sites in Chicago, Berlin and Mumbai. The Kraków team will develop a new, highly automated mapping system that will serve autonomous systems, digital twins and predictive location services, the company said.
Contact: Sebastian Kurme, HERE Technologies, 49 173 515 3549, firstname.lastname@example.org.
Qualcomm Launches Snapdragon W5+ and W5 Platforms for Next Generation Wearables
Qualcomm [ QCOM 0.00 ] has unveiled the Snapdragon W5+ Gen 1 and Snapdragon W5 Gen 1. The platforms allow ultra-low power and performance for next generation connected wearables with a focus on extended battery life, the company said.
The platform incorporates low power Bluetooth 5.3 architecture, low power islands for Wi-Fi, GNSS and audio. The platform’s first customers are watchmakers Oppo and Mobvoi.
Contact: Pete Lancia, Qualcomm, (858) 845-5959, email@example.com, www.qualcomm.com.
Zonar Announces Huge Sales Increases for Bus Tracking Solution
Zonar has announced that sales for Zonar MyView, a real-time bus tracking solution and parent app, increased by 19 times from January 2022 to June 2022. During the same period, sales increased by 168 percent for Zonar Z Pass, a real-time ridership tracking solution that allows students to scan a passive RFID card to a reader device.
MyView serves as a dashboard for school districts to communicate bus changes, delays, or breakdowns, the company said. The companion mobile app lets parents see where their child's bus is located, create zones, and customize alerts.
Contact: Zach Taiji, Zonar Systems, (360) 477-3194, firstname.lastname@example.org, www.zonarsystems.com.
Paragon Acquires RTLS Company Tracktio
Paragon ID has acquired Barcelona-based Tracktio, a provider of asset tracking and real-time location systems solutions. Financial details were not disclosed.
Tracktio’s TrackSphereTM features track and trace workflows, location-based analytics and real-time inventory and personnel supervision. Paragon ID cited Tractio’s RFiD Discovery technology as a growth area to expand its solutions into such technologies as GPS, LoRa, ultra-wideband (UWB), Quuppa, and optical identification, the company said.
Contact: Clem Garvey, Paragon ID, 33 (0)2 48 81 61 00, email@example.com, www.paragon-id.com.
HYFIX.AI Base Station Uses Quectel GNSS Module
HYFIX.AI has announced the availability of a GEODNET base-station using the LC29H module from Quectel Wireless Solutions. The Mobile Centimeter base-station is a dual-band GNSS base-station for RTK applications in autonomy, agriculture, construction/survey, drones and geo-science applications, the company said.
The Quectel LC29H module is a surface-mount, low-power 135-channel dual-band receiver. The LC29H can use both RTK and dead reckoning algorithms such as the HYFIX.AI Embedded Centimeter (EmbedCM) stack, the company said.
Contact: Mike Horton, GEODNET, Info@geodnet.com, https://geodnet.com.
Tracxpoint Introduces Shopping Cart Tracking System
Tracxpoint has rolled out T•Loc, an Intelligent Locking Device for standard shopping carts, which can be unlocked by scanning a QR Code printed on the main housing using a stores' rewards/loyalty mobile app. Once unlocked, the device begins sending data to store servers such as the location of the trolley, and duration of a shoppers' visit, which combines to generate daily store heat maps to provide customer insight, the company said.
T•Loc can broadcast its coordinates to locate abandoned carts outside of a store. The unit features a WAY indoor positioning system and broadcasts unique signals to CHECXiN terminals to identify its location, the company said.
Contact: Scott Ilg, Tracxpoint, (786) 383-2553, firstname.lastname@example.org, https://tracxpoint.com.
SuperCom Signs GPS Monitoring Contract
SuperCom [SPCB 0.00 ] has signed a GPS monitoring contract in Texas to monitor juvenile probation clients. The contract follows a live product evaluation where the solution was tested by the customer, which was undisclosed by the company. SuperCom's PureSecurity Suite features smartphone integration, secure communication, advanced security, anti-tamper mechanisms, fingerprint biometrics, voice communication and touch screens, the company said.
Contact: SuperCom, email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org.
Lytx Introduces Asset Tracking
Lytx has launched the Lytx Asset Tracking Service to augment its fleet management solutions. Available in the U.S. and Canada, the Asset Tracking Service can be used by fleet managers looking for a streamlined approach to locate and manage their powered equipment, the company said.
The service features Lytx Asset Tracker hardware and a monthly subscription per unit that allows customers access to the customizable software via a Lytx account. Companies can obtain such data as the asset serial number, current estimated location, last ccted time, and the last movement date, the company said.
Contact: Jason Andersen, CorpComm@lytx.com, www.lytx.com.
Patricia Helen Doherty, 72, died July 14 at Lahey Medical Center in Burlington, Mass. Her research focused on GNSS space weather and ionospheric conditions.
IntelliShift has announced Ryan Wilkinson has been named Chief Operating Officer. A 13-year veteran of IntelliShift, Wilkinson served as Chief Technology Officer from 2014 to 2022.
Senior Marketing and Brand Manager. Xona.
Product Manager for Telematics. Sygic.
Senior Manager Product Security. U-blox.
Thanks for reading Location Business News! Subscribe for free to receive new posts.