SkyLift: Low-Cost Geo-Location Spoofing Device

SkyLift is small device that exploits the longstanding vulnerability (from 2008) in geo-location positioning using WiFi BSSIDs. Companies, including Google and Apple, rely on the use of this WiFi packets from home routers to return the estimated smartphone users position. Until now, this method has required the use of multiple routers and a complicated, expensive setup. SkyLift reintroduces the concept to a new audience using a low-cost, Arduino-compatible WiFi transceiver (ESP8266) to relocate the user to almost anywhere in the world. The project has been exhibited as part of the !Mediengruppe Bitnik’s Assange Room installation at the Zoo Gallery (Nantes), at La Gaîté Lyrique (Paris), and at FACT (Liverpool) where it has been shown to successfully relocate visitors to the actual location of Julian Assange’s room in London. For this web residency, I would like to demonstrate how SkyLift can be easily built and used by activists to break geofencing and obscure geolocation metadata.