Google Maps Hacks – 99 smartphones for free roads!

M.Sc. Chris Wojzechowski

Google Maps Hacks – 99 smartphones for free roads!

Most people appreciate the features of integrated navigation tips in smartphones – but how easy are Google Maps Hacks to implement? One artist shows that it is frighteningly easy. And the fascinating consequences of manipulation. For the hack itself, a lot of smartphones are needed. In this case, second hand smartphones will do. 99 of them to be exact.

Google Maps Hacks - 99 Smartphones
It is that easy to clear the streets. 99 second-hand smartphones in a cart (source:

Clear the road with 99 second hand smartphones

The success of Google Maps is undisputed. Quite a few people use the app to commute regularly. If the route is congested, it is worth taking a look at the display early in the morning.

Until now, there was little doubt that the information displayed was not correct. So far. Simon Weckert has now come up with an idea: The traffic jam display on Google Maps appears when many devices cannot move forward.

As can be seen in Simon’s handcart, there are some smartphones there that make very slow progress. This is interpreted by Google Maps as a traffic jam. And since there are many devices, it is also a big, red traffic jam. This can also be seen on the screenshots. The whole thing happened in Berlin and shows that this technology can also be manipulated.

Google Maps Hacks - Stau Anzeige
The handcart creates an enormous traffic jam. At least digitally. In reality everything is free. (Quelle:

Google Maps Hacks are possible – but with effort.

Simon’s experiment shows that even this technology is far from infallible. The attacks on the reliability of information are simply different from classic cyber attacks. If you can’t imagine how it all works live, you can take a look at Simon’s video. Empty streets and surprised fellow citizens* can be discovered there. However, the probability that the traffic jam on the A2 is caused by someone with a handcart is quite low. Basically it does not hurt to drive without a navigation system. Maybe you will be happy, like the cars in Berlin, about the one or other free road.

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M.Sc. Chris Wojzechowski

My name is Chris Wojzechowski and I studied my Master in Internet Security in Gelsenkirchen a few years ago. I am one of two managing directors of AWARE7 GmbH and a trained IT Risk Manager, IT-Grundschutz practitioner (TÜV) and possess the test procedure competence for § 8a BSIG. Our bread and butter business is performing penetration testing. We are also committed to promoting a broad understanding of IT security in Europe, which is why we offer the majority of our products free of charge.