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Cyberpoaching: Why Hackers Pose a Deadly Threat to Endangered Animals



The most dangerous poacher of the 21st century might do his work behind a computer screen.

The attempted hacking of a Bengal tiger’s GPS collar in the Panna Tiger Reserve last July alerted the world to a new kind of threat to its wildlife: cyberpoaching. Since then, many proactive conservationists have been trying to figure out how to fight a poacher who sits half a world away from the animals they’re targeting

Faced with small budgets and an ever-evolving enemy, solving the problem is no easy task for conservationists.

The fact that a GPS collar was the first device poachers targeted is an important detail. Though providing valuable information about the location and migration patterns of select wildlife, the data that the collars transmit is also extremely valuable to parties wishing to do harm to the animals. With certain collars, poachers can pinpoint the animals via their real-time locations to distances within 10 feet. If poachers were to successfully gain access to this data, killing the animals would almost be too easy. Read more…

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