SkyLift - WiFi Geolocation Spoofing Device

For !Mediengruppe Bitnik’s Assange Room. Made in collaboration with Surya Mattu.

Project Updates

SkyLift V0.3. Photo ©Adam Harvey

SkyLift is a geolocation decoy that virtually relocates visitors to Julian Assange’s residence at the Ecuadorian Embassy in London. The device was made for !Mediengruppe Bitnik’s Assange room and works by broadcasting WiFi signals that exploit a smartphone’s reliance on using nearby MAC addresses for location services.

You can now make your own custom locations with the instructions on GitHub.

SkyLift works without connecting to any WiFi network. The only requirements are that you have WiFi turned on and location services enabled. There is no IP spoofing, no GPS signal spoofing, no VPN, and no 3rd party app involved.

Once inside Bitnik’s Assange room, SkyLift will adjust your smartphone’s location to approximately 3 Hans Crescent Knightsbridge, London SW1X 0LS (The Ecuadorian Embassy in London). There, you can check-in or share photos that will be tagged with the approximate latitude and longitude of the Ecuadorian Embassy in London.

Relocate yourself to the Ecuadorian Embassy in London | Source
Early Version of SkyLift (Version 0.1) used Raspberry Pi, 2.4GHz WiFi interface, HDMI Screen, and mdk3. Photo ©2016 Adam Harvey

The WiFi data used for SkyLift was collected onsite in London with a WiFi scanning device. The information displayed on the computer’s screen (above and in gallery) shows each of the unique MAC addresses (BSSIDs) and their associated network name from routers nearby the embassy. This information is rebroadcast inside the exhibition space to emulate over 60 WiFi access points that exist near the real Ecuadorian Embassy in London.

You can now get a copy of the Ecuadorian Embassy WiFi scan from GitHub.

Collecting WiFi data outside the Ecuadorian Embassy in London. The bag is for hiding the scanning device. An app on the phone triggers a WiFi scan with notes about the specific location. The iPhone and Pi computer are bridged with an ad-hoc WiFi network.

SkyLift launched at the !Mediengruppe Bitnik Welcome to Ecuador show on June 25, 2016 curated by Aude Launay at Zoo Galerie in Nantes, France.

Emulating the Ecuadorian Embassy from within Germany.
Fooling Apple's Find My Phone service
Emulating the Ecuadorian Embassy from within Germany.
Prototyping with various WiFi devices.


Earlier Projects on WiFi Geolocation Spoofing and Beacon Frames