GPS Prepared for WWII-Era Emergencies

Air Raid AlertIt’s handy when your GPS or satellite navigation system warns you about a traffic jam before you hit it. It’s a bit disconcerting when that system tells you there’s an air raid up ahead.

That’s the alert an Audi A4 gave its driver as he wound his way through London. It’s unclear whether the “air raid” alert is programed into the satnav or whether the system was hacked with a rogue radio transmission (a known problem for GPS systems). From The Register:

Reg reader Graham Schofield was this morning offered perhaps the most sensational reason for being late to work we’ve ever seen: an air raid affecting the A4 in west London. …

Graham tells us he threw an email at Audi to find out just what’s going on, but hasn’t yet received a reply. …

[We would draw our readers' attention to our previous coverage showing how easy it is to send spoof radio data transmissions which will be picked up by car navigation systems and cause them to display all kinds of notifications, from the humdrum traffic jam to bomb alerts (code 1516) or plane crashes (978) to air raids (1481), bullfights (1456) etc.]

If it was a wayward radio signal, the makers of GPS and satnavs should probably work on that security issue so stuff like this doesn’t happen in-the-wild.

It Pays to be an In-The-Wild Tester

It pays to test in-the-wildWe’ve already seen why it pays to test products in-the-wild, but it also pays being one of those in-the-wild testers. Sure, working on an internal QA team draws a salary – but don’t think that just because you aren’t in a testing lab you can’t be raking in the dough. Take a look at these big companies making some major payouts to everyday testers.

Facebook created its own, sleek credit card for its “White Hat Bug Bounty Program.” The program allows Facebook to reward people outside the company for finding major security bugs. From CNet:

Facebook launched its bug bounty program in July, following in the steps of Mozilla and Google. The minimum a researcher can make for reporting a bug that is eventually confirmed is $500, and there is no maximum. Researchers have to follow Facebook’s Responsible Disclosure Policy and not go public with the vulnerability information until the hole has been fixed.

The most Facebook has paid out for one bug report is $5,000, and it has done that several times, according to McGeehan. Payments have been made to 81 researchers, he said.

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