Conspiracy Theater

THE NEXT STEP IN CYBER WAR: GPS SPOOFING

Remember those U.S. warships that were rammed by other ships this past year? The USS Fitzgerald and the USS John McCain incidents? For that matter, remember the US cruise missile strike on Syria, and that over half of the missiles missed their targets?  Well, there may be yet another explanation for the incidents: GPS spoofing, the latest step in cyber warfare capability, if this article shared by Ms. P is any indicator:

Ships fooled in GPS spoofing attack suggest Russian cyberweapon

What is intriguing here to note is that this attack - and it can only be called an attack - occurred within the same rough time frame as the McCain and Fitzgerald incidents:

eports 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.

Until now, the biggest worry for GPS has been it can be jammed by masking the GPS satellite signal with noise. While this can cause chaos, it is also easy to detect. GPS receivers sound an alarm when they lose the signal due to jamming. Spoofing is more insidious: a false signal from a ground station simply confuses a satellite receiver. “Jamming just causes the receiver to die, spoofing causes the receiver to lie,” says consultant David Last, former president of the UK’s Royal Institute of Navigation.

Todd Humphreys, of the University of Texas at Austin, has been warning of the coming danger of GPS spoofing for many years. In 2013, he showed how a superyacht with state-of-the-art navigation could be lured off-course by GPS spoofing. “The receiver’s behaviour in the Black Sea incident was much like during the controlled attacks my team conducted,” says Humphreys.

And of course, as one might expect, this too is being blamed on Russia:

Humphreys thinks this is Russia experimenting with a new form of electronic warfare. Over the past year, GPS spoofing has been causing chaos for the receivers on phone apps in central Moscow to misbehave. The scale of the problem did not become apparent until people began trying to play Pokemon Go. The fake signal, which seems to centre on the Kremlin, relocates anyone nearby to Vnukovo Airport, 32 km away. This is probably for defensive reasons; many NATO guided bombs, missiles and drones rely on GPS navigation, and successful spoofing would make it impossible for them to hit their targets.

However, the article itself suggests that the technology is not all that difficult:

But now the geolocation interference is being used far away from the Kremlin. Some worry that this means that spoofing is getting easier. GPS spoofing previously required considerable technical expertise. Humphreys had to build his first spoofer from scratch in 2008, but notes that it can now be done with commercial hardware and software downloaded from the Internet.

Nor does it require much power. Satellite signals are very weak – about 20 watts from 20,000 miles away – so a one-watt transmitter on a hilltop, plane or drone is enough to spoof everything out to the horizon.

All this brings me to today's high octane speculation. Firstly, during the Fitzgerald and McCain incidents, the US Navy made something of a fuss over the deteriorating state of training, and crews used to navigating almost exclusively by GPS might account for at least some of the incidents, and might account for why the Navy is reemphasizing the need for good old fashioned celestial navigation skills. While I am not abandoning my theory of other types of cyber warfare and perhaps even mind control technologies being behind those incidents, there is nothing to rule out GPS spoofing either. Perhaps those incidents were tests of combined technologies being used all at once.

But there is a second high octane speculative possibility to be mentioned here. I have no doubt that Russia, and for that matter, every other great power, are probably involved in GPS spoofing research and testing. That means that one cannot be too quick to jump to the conclusion that Russia is responsible for these incidents. Indeed, such incidents might be false flags used to generate more West-Russia tensions by those in the West needing to perpetuate the central bank warfare-welfare model. But you'll also note that the scientists in question who have been testing GPS spoofing were able to to do using relatively "off-the-shelf" technologies, and this implies that almost anyone with the technical savvy to assemble the software and equipment might be involved. As with the use of mind control technologies, one cannot rule out non-state and extra-territorial actors...

See you on the flip side...

 

11 thoughts on “THE NEXT STEP IN CYBER WAR: GPS SPOOFING”

  1. Odin’s spear Gungnir alludes to “path of a falling object”, basic resonance, and pendulum equilibrium in perpendicularity (standing stone).

    North Star is an axiom in celestial time, and brought down on earth, she creates heavenly order in timekeeping, thus the idiom “heaven on earth”.

    The Grail Runes create geometrical resonance within any system imaginable, be it planetary, monetary, individual or national.

  2. Now is the time to buy stock in Inertial Navigation System (INS) companies…

    Way back around the first Gulf War, USAF got worried about spoofing of GPS-guided weapons. Not jamming; spoofing. Their response was to pair-up GPS (satellite-based navigation) with INS (gyro-based navigation). INS has the disadvantage of ‘drifting’ slightly over time, so GPS had been preferred for ‘exact’ guidance. Once spoofing became a fear, INS became the prime, with GPS only used to ‘mini-correct’ INS with periodic position-updates. INS has known ‘drift’ rates, so anything outside those parameters can be discarded. The bottom line is that INS-GPS combos make spoofing hard-to-impossible. (I am not sure whether USN AEGIS-class cruisers and destroyers have the INS-GPS combo, but I suspect so.)

    This was all fine for the military, where cost is no object. However, commercial traffic (ships, trucks, etc.) stuck with GPS-only, as INS installations have been VERY costly in the past. This leaves ships, especially, open to GPS spoofing. Couple this with GPS-based autopilots and a minimum bridge crew, and the ‘possibilities’ are endless…

    Somebody has realized that ‘stealth’ attacks via GPS-spoofing are plausible deniability heaven. Freighters and tankers can now be deadly weapons. How cool is that? (sarcasm alert)

    Anyway, the cost of INS installations has been plummeting (largely due to military investment, ironically). Now, they are within-reach of commercial viability, especially with USS Fitzgerald and USS McCain being rammed by GPS-spoofed freighters as an incentive. Look for insurance companies to be demanding shipping firms install INS-GPS combos or face dramatic rate hikes. Thousands of units. Again, now is a good time to buy stock in INS firms…

    1. how bout this for a reason to go back to school:
      degrees in electrical/electronic/computer engineering with further studies for advanced degrees in plasma/laser physics

      there’s gotta be ways to use a laser in some way as a gyro for an electonic version of an ins.

  3. Information warfare on ALL fronts; economic, far-out-space[satellites], in-space [cyber warfare], and/or
    no matter where you think are[technically]?
    In this digitized realm – “fake” – is all too prevalent;
    no even in where you think you are.
    Is the concept of “trust’ becoming digitally dissolved?

    “Abandon weapons first, then food.
    But never abandon trust.
    People cannot get on without trust.
    Trust is more important than life.”
    – Confucius to his disciple Tau-Kung

  4. Who do they think they’re kidding with this thing being “centred on the Kremlin” (ooooh such a sinister place!)? If Mr Humphreys built one of these “amazing” devices 10 years ago with material from the local electronics store, think of the state of the art in hacking satellite signals. For example with regard to financial clearing communications…

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