Students Spoofed GPS Signals, Hijacked $80 Million Yacht

 

Looks like threats to GPS navigation are more susceptible to spoofing than from jamming the signals. Drones and vessels at sea are certainly targets, as the article describes, but of more immediate potential impact IMO might be Google's driverless mapping vehicles roaming our streets and highways.

http://nakedsecurity.sophos.com/2013/07/31/80-million-yacht-...

It takes a good bit of work -- at least today

At least this year, it's not easy, requiring a very good GPS receiver, specialized computer hardware and software, and a very good, very stable GPS transmitter.

This group has been working in this direction for a while and have published a number of reports on their work.

While the RF parts are going to be tricky for a while, the computational part you can expect to come down in price and size given the normal course of technology advancement.

We're still quite a few years away from someone being able to order a box from an offshore company, hook it up, and enter false coordinates for all local GPS boxes to display (although I'd expect to see just that kind of thing in a movie or TV show in the near future).

The Economist also had a good writeup on these, and other GPS jamming issues:

http://www.economist.com/news/international/21582288-satelli...

As a number of folks have pointed out, this is a vote for redundant nav systems, such as eLORAN, an improved version of the LORAN nav system used for decades. The US abandoned it, as it cost money to maintain, and GPS is everywhere. The UK and other EU countries are installing eLORAN stations to provide backup to GPS, which is subject to spoofing and jamming, and is also under the control of the US. Not surprisingly, US credibility isn't too high these days...

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Nuvi 2460, 680, DATUM Tymserve 2100, Trimble Thunderbolt, Ham radio, Macintosh, Linux, Windows

interesting

interesting info.

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http://www.poi-factory.com/node/21626 - red light cameras do not work

cool article

Cool article, but misleading title. "Hijacking a megayacht in the middle of the ocean" is a far cry from "some students invited aboard a vessel used their gps spoofing gear to alter the ship's course a few degrees".

Wow

Wow

Just a word to the

Just a word to the wise......anything electronic can be hacked. And a simple rule of navigation is you never rely on only one navigation tool. (Think car on RR tracks)

perhaps the key

k6rtm wrote:

At least this year, it's not easy, requiring a very good GPS receiver, specialized computer hardware and software, and a very good, very stable GPS transmitter.

This group has been working in this direction for a while and have published a number of reports on their work.

While the RF parts are going to be tricky for a while, the computational part you can expect to come down in price and size given the normal course of technology advancement.

We're still quite a few years away from someone being able to order a box from an offshore company, hook it up, and enter false coordinates for all local GPS boxes to display (although I'd expect to see just that kind of thing in a movie or TV show in the near future.

Perhaps the key to this is to remember the spoofing transmitter had to be close to the target receiver. In this case it was also on the yacht. They could not have done this from their labs in Texas so it's not much more than a gee-whiz demonstration showing it is possible. One more point - why was it done in the Mediterranean Sea and not in the US? It's illegal and the university would have to pay some very heavy fines for deliberately interfering with a transmission as well as operating an unlicensed transmitter. The fact they published the results would be proof of intent.

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Illiterate? Write for free help.

Tomorrow Never Dies

This reminds me of the plot from the James Bond movie "Tomorrow Never Dies", where a British warship was sent off course by a false GPS signal.

not a new thought

Spoofing was a concern early in the system design. There is a standard function termed "anti-spoof".

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personal GPS user since 1992

I Never Thought...

such hacking was possible. Interesting story. Thanks.

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RKF (Bethesda, MD) Garmin Nuvi 660, 360 & Street Pilot

Thanks for link

That was an interesting story. Points out the pitfalls of becoming so stupid that you only rely on technology, so if it fails you have no idea of what to do. (Kind of like kids at the sandwich shop that can't figure out how much change is due w/o the cash register.) Not into maritime history, but it would be good to have a redundant system like plotting on charts by a human as I'm sure they did in the pre GPS days.

Compass & Charts (Maps)

Primary navigation tool should be charts & compass. Always use updated charts and skillful plotting.

A compass and map should always be kept close by even in less demanding situations like navigating on roads.

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romanviking

Time is UP

k6rtm wrote:

While the RF parts are going to be tricky for a while, the computational part you can expect to come down in price and size given the normal course of technology advancement.

We're still quite a few years away from someone being able to order a box from an offshore company, hook it up, and enter false coordinates for all local GPS boxes to display (although I'd expect to see just that kind of thing in a movie or TV show in the near future).
positioning-data-are-vitalbut-signal-surprisingly-easy-disrupt-out?fsrc=scn/tw/te/pe/outofsight

Well I guess that year is 2018 and is not a movie

http://www.poi-factory.com/node/48665

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Garmin 38 - Magellan Gold - Garmin Yellow eTrex - Nuvi 260 - Nuvi 2460LMT - Google Nexus 7 - Toyota Entune NAV