GPS spoofing

I have been sort of keeping my eye on this topic over the years, for no real reason other than its pretty interesting how the whole GPS system works.
(Very VERY accurate clocks for a start).

I blogged a few days back about a software hack on a drone to make it think it was somewhere else according to its GPS.
This is pretty straight forward. You need to download the hacked firmware into your drone, a third party can not do it while its flying for example, and its simply an offset from the GPS on the drone. The drone still flys where it is flying, it just reports to the software that it is somewhere else.

This – this is something else entirely. This is super scary.

Reports of satellite navigation problems in the Black Sea suggest that Russia may be testing a new system for spoofing GPS, New Scientist has learned. This could be the first hint of a new form of electronic warfare available to everyone from rogue nation states to petty criminals.

On 22 June, the US Maritime Administration filed a seemingly bland incident report. The master of a ship off the Russian port of Novorossiysk had discovered his GPS put him in the wrong spot – more than 32 kilometres inland, at Gelendzhik Airport.

After checking the navigation equipment was working properly, the captain contacted other nearby ships. Their AIS traces – signals from the automatic identification system used to track vessels – placed them all at the same airport. At least 20 ships were affected.

While the incident is not yet confirmed, experts think this is the first documented use of GPS misdirection – a spoofing attack that has long been warned of but never been seen in the wild.

We have read about this a bit. A Raspberry Pi and two USB dongles is enough to do this.
Where I first picked it up was with the ADSB aircraft tracking beacon spoofing. A proof of concept was done where a small aircraft was spoofed in front of a large jet liner and the aircraft was diverted around what it thought was a real plane.
Similar deal here I guess, they could have changed the course of one or more ships.
Its hard to imagine just how much we all use GPS. Even if you don’t think you do, or if you dont own a GPS mapping unit – your life is still dependent on GPS working cleanly.

If what they are saying happen really did happen…. this is super scary.