July 23rd, 2014
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APRIL FOOLS? RUSSIA’S GPS SATELLITE SYSTEM GOES DOWN FOR SIX HOURS

Ms. K.N. sent this article to me, and in the light of what I’ve been blogging about the past two days concerning space, this one is also worthy of mention. It seems that on April fool’s day, Russia’s GLONASS satellite system, its version of the GPS satellite system, went down completely:

[UPDATED] Russian GPS-Alternative Satellites Went ‘Illegal/Failure’: Solar Storm Damage or Cyberwar in Space?

Russia’s Glonass GPS System Suffers Major Disruption

The first article poses some interesting questions, evident in the title of the article itself, and summarized here:

GLONASS is the equivalent of GPS, an alternative global navigation satellite system (GNSS) launched and operated by Russian Aerospace Defense Forces (RADF). Apart from GPS, it is the only other GNSS with global capability.

“It’s possible that the outage is related to either a new M-class solar storm — the start of which was reported about 48 hours ago — or recent X-class solar flare on March 29 at approximately 1700 UTC. The latter event caused a short-term radio blackout about one hour after the flare erupted.

“But there is conjecture that GLONASS’ outage is human in origin and possibly deliberate. The absence of any reported outage news regarding GPS and other active satellite systems suggests this is quite possible, given the unlikelihood that technology used in GLONASS differs dramatically from that used in other satellite systems.

“At least one observer mentioned that a monitoring system tripped at 21:00 UTC — 00:00 GLONASS system time. The odds of a natural event like a solar storm tripping at exactly top of the hour are ridiculously slim, especially since radiation ejected from the new M-class storm may not reach its peak effect on earth for another 24-48 hours.”(Emphasis added)

And there’s these possibilities:

“If the outage is based in human activity, the problem may have been caused by:

“— an accidental disabling here on earth, though RADF most likely has redundancies to prevent such a large outage;

“— deliberate tampering here on earth, though with RADF as operator this seems quite unlikely; or

“— deliberate tampering in space, either through scripts sent from earth, or technology installed with inherent flaws.

“The last is most likely, and of either scripts sent from earth or the flawed technology scenarios, the former is more likely to cause a widespread outage.”

In my opinion, I think we are looking at a cyber-warfare, a bit of “payback” perhaps, for Russia’s “non-compliance” to the situation in the Ukraine and Crimea. We’ve seen indications that some sort of cyber-war may be taking place, with the suspicious leaks of the phone calls of US State Department spokeswoman Victoria Nuland, and more recently(and much more damagingly) the Ukrainian “leaderette” Julia Tymoshenko and her calls for the deaths of 8,000,000 Russians. These events imply a clear interception of signals, and this implies, at some point, no matter how it may have been accomplished, an intelligence operation behind it. More recently, there have been rumors circulating on the internet that there is growing concern in Western security agencies about Russia’s apparent ability to avoid electronic eavesdropping.

Assuming that one is looking at cyber-warfare here, the result would seem to be indicative of something else, not the compartive “ease” by which the Russian system was taken down(without, apparently, affecting the US system, a strong indicator of possible cyber warfare activity), but rather, the relative speed by which the system was restored. Six hours, in modern military affairs, is a long time to be without GPS capability, but if there was an infection by a virus, it is a relatively short time to purge an entire system.

And that might have them worried, for if this was a test of Russian counter-cyber war capabilities, it would appear they may have passed the test.

See you on the flip side.

 

5 Responses to APRIL FOOLS? RUSSIA’S GPS SATELLITE SYSTEM GOES DOWN FOR SIX HOURS

  1. MQ says:

    Mercy…as Tony Soprano once said “Janice, don’t **** with the Russians.”
    Another just-a-coincidence death in finance:
    http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2014-04-10/jim-flaherty-canadas-former-finance-minister-has-died

  2. Kona says:

    just the latest in list of space / launch losses…

    http://en.ria.ru/russia/20140312/188352883/Russia-Lost-550M-From-Failed-Satellite-Launches-in-4-Years.html

    From Jan
    http://en.itar-tass.com/world/707715
    US intelligence opposes GLONASS stations’ deployment on US territory

    2011
    http://www.spacemart.com/reports/Lost_Russian_satellite_poses_threat_to_space_navigation_999.html

    2010
    Heads Roll After GLONASS Launch Failure (Update)
    http://nasawatch.com/archives/2010/12/glonass-launch.html

    What to make of China and Turkey allegedly trying to buy the Ukraine ICBM tech? Or is it China and Turkey?

    Kiev has reportedly engaged in secret talks with Turkey and China about the sale of Soviet-era ICBM know-how.
    Read more: http://voiceofrussia.com/2014_04_09/Strategic-decisions-are-made-in-Washington-and-Brussels-not-in-Kiev-political-analyst-6360/

    Will India mars probe makes it?
    http://www.dawn.com/news/1098773/indias-mission-to-mars-crosses-half-way-mark

  3. marcos toledo says:

    I hope the idiots at CIA-NSA are not responsible for this. Because with the USA failing infrastructure it wouldn’t take much to sabotage it. And as always two can play at this game. The neocons just seem to be itching for another war don’t they have something better to do with their live come on get a life war isn’t everything.

  4. Robert Barricklow says:

    Once again the theme of “Covert Wars” is running silent, running deep. Yet the “signs” are in plain sight, for those that know the tell-tales “signatures” of the power that be. The deliberate obfuscation of technologies; & of those technologies “in use”. the monopolization of those to suit their “masters” needs.
    Really enjoyed this post, as it opened my closed eyes, once again, to what “may be going on” below the radar.
    One, of many covert wars, happening in plain sight.

  5. Patricia says:

    Adding some weight to the “it wasn’t a solar flare” argument, those of us who are regular solar watchers were quite baffled by articles coming out warning ‘Significant Solar Flare May Affect Communications’ from Western sources like ComputerWorld, Los Angeles Times and Alex Jones — but NONE from trusted space weather sources like SolarHam, Goddard, NOAA or SpaceWeather. An X1.0 is a significant flare, but not significant enough to warrant such warnings, especially given the fact that, due to the sunspot’s position, the following CME delivered only a glancing blow to Earth. The X1.0 erupted from Region 2017 on March 29, 2014. This event started on 17:35, peaked at 17:48 and ended at 17:54 UTC. There was a wide area blackout of HF (high frequency) radio communication for about an hour with the maximum frequency of 1dB absorption concentrated on the lower portion of North America, squarely on Central America, and the upper portion of South America. Most of the following CME was directed north of the ecliptic as Region 2017 was nearing the western limb, but there was a faint Earth-directed component that delivered only a glancing blow.