After an attempted hacking of a Bengal tiger’s GPS collar last year, conservationists opened their eyes to a very real threat: cyberpoaching. Often limited by small budgets, and poachers as far as the other side of the world, conservationists are facing an uphill battle.
Despite all the valuable information transmitted to scientists and conservationists by GPS tracking collars, the information is also of extreme value to poachers. Some GPS collars will give poachers exact real-time whereabouts of an animal making them easy targets.
The expensive collars are certainly not easy to hack, however improvements in cybersecurity need to be made before scientists and conservationists can rest easily. “It’s a sad state of affairs, but the war here on wildlife means you have to take some much more serious measures to try and turn the tide,” says Crawford Allan, the head of the Wildlife Crime Technology Project at World Wildlife Fund, “I think that time is coming.”