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Old 31-07-2013, 20:13   #46
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Re: Dust Off Your Sextants! GPS Hacked!

Sometimes these threads are almost fun. Somewhat more seriously, who was the clown in charge of the yacht that was led astray? I use my autopilot linked to my GPS all the time, but I know where I am and which way I'm supposed to be going to get where I want to be. The GPS/Autopilot is never trusted and is monitored continiously. If the compass, GPS, and autopilot do not agree I immediately look for a problem. It can be as simple as someone sitting a piece of ferrous metal down near the compass or the autopilot's fluxgate. This happens much more often than a GPS problem, though the offenders are quickly schooled in the necessity of keeping iron away from the compasses. I seriously doubt( I hope?) that I would fall for a GPS spoof for long. Does anyone know where I can get an astrolabe just in case?
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Old 31-07-2013, 21:37   #47
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Re: Dust Off Your Sextants! GPS Hacked!

I've had a few times when I lost GPS signals due to very heavy storm cover, but I've never had a bad fix on my position when I've had a lock on at least 3 satellites. This is all in stark contrast to Loran systems that lied to me as often as some politicians.

I'm not saying that there isn't someone out there that is capable of messing with a GPS signal, but I will say that this is pretty low on the list of things I worry about. Weather, mechanical breakdowns, & failed electrical connections are more likely to give me grief than a bad GPS signal.

I haven't even seen my sextant in more than 10 years. I don't even know where to look for it anymore.
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Old 31-07-2013, 21:46   #48
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Re: Dust Off Your Sextants! GPS Hacked!

bill, the boat was part of the demo, that is all this was, a demo of the capability to override sat data with land based transmissions, which was known to be possible since the beginning of gps, hence the authenticated military version.
What I did not know is how easy it is to get the equipment that does it, apparantly there are GPS testing system you can buy off-the-shelf that allow testing of gps receivers inside a building, so it is something easily done.
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Old 31-07-2013, 22:00   #49
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Re: Dust Off Your Sextants! GPS Hacked!

A prudent mariner always has backup systems, but a well installed GPS system should be reliable. The intermittent loss of fix with poor weather etc should not be tolerated. These problems are nearly always due to electrical/installation/equipment problems, not due to a failure, or an inherent limitation of the GPS system of satellites.

There is a very remote chance of GPS jamming in built up (mainly from car thieves) , or military areas, but these causes often get the blame when intermittent equipment failure is the real problem.

My GPS has been on 24/7 for an average of 300 days a year for the last 6 years without a single drop out.
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Old 31-07-2013, 22:35   #50
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Re: Dust Off Your Sextants! GPS Hacked!

To me the value in this story is showing the fragility of a system that so many people regard to be as constant as the stars themselves. And without being too much of a Chicken Little, it isn't too crazy to imagine that the plans and technology to spoof GPS will be available online eventually and that someone on a hillside overlooking the water will build one.

If guys want to blow up buildings and put bombs in their shoes, the ubiquitous reliance on GPS (marine, aviation, on foot, auto vehicles, etc) seems like a not too far fetched target.
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Old 31-07-2013, 22:39   #51
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Re: Dust Off Your Sextants! GPS Hacked!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Captain Bill View Post
Does anyone know where I can get an astrolabe just in case?
Good question. I work with some of these college kids. Trust me, if today they're hacking GPS, next semester they'll start trying to hack the sun.

(But not a one of them knows how to spell "astrolabe.")
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Old 31-07-2013, 22:43   #52
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Re: Dust Off Your Sextants! GPS Hacked!

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To me the value in this story is showing the fragility of a system that so many people regard to be as constant as the stars themselves. And without being too much of a Chicken Little, it isn't too crazy to imagine that the plans and technology to spoof GPS will be available online eventually and that someone on a hillside overlooking the water will build one.
The information on how to build a GPS jamming device is pretty readily available already.
There range is quite limited and its difficult to imagine many practical situations where a celestial fix would be superior.
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Old 31-07-2013, 22:49   #53
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Re: Dust Off Your Sextants! GPS Hacked!

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The information on how to build a GPS jamming device is pretty readily available already.
There range is quite limited and its difficult to imagine many practical situations where a celestial fix would be superior.
No argument from me. I think in any situation you'd be close enough to land you'll be in visual navigation, and far enough to sea you'd be out of range of any type of non satellite transmitter.

Like I said, it's just a nice gentle reminder that GPS is not some universal constant that can be relied upon for eternity in all situations. And while I'm sure you'd agree with that, how many boat do you think could get anywhere if the satellite constellation went offline tomorrow morning?
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Old 31-07-2013, 22:59   #54
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Re: Dust Off Your Sextants! GPS Hacked!

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, how many boat do you think could get anywhere if the satellite constellation went offline tomorrow morning?
They would all get somewhere, but in many cases it would not be the place they intended

I would still much rather be traveling by sailboat, even with a navigationally challenged skipper, than a commercial aeroplane, if the satellite constellation went offline.
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Old 01-08-2013, 01:25   #55
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No argument from me. I think in any situation you'd be close enough to land you'll be in visual navigation, and far enough to sea you'd be out of range of any type of non satellite transmitter.

Like I said, it's just a nice gentle reminder that GPS is not some universal constant that can be relied upon for eternity in all situations. And while I'm sure you'd agree with that, how many boat do you think could get anywhere if the satellite constellation went offline tomorrow morning?
Currently we have GPS , GLONASS, and Galileo ( in slow startup) with two more proposed systems. In future that's a awful lot of systems to go down. You might as well say , loose the global telephone network.

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Old 01-08-2013, 02:14   #56
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Re: Dust Off Your Sextants! GPS Hacked!

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Originally Posted by noelex 77 View Post
The information on how to build a GPS jamming device is pretty readily available already.
There range is quite limited and its difficult to imagine many practical situations where a celestial fix would be superior.
Very true but it is one thing to jam a GPS signal and quite another to fool the GPS by the bad guy sending data that the GPS thinks is good when it isn't.
Of course it can be done but.......
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Old 01-08-2013, 03:31   #57
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Re: Dust Off Your Sextants! GPS Hacked!

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Very true but it is one thing to jam a GPS signal and quite another to fool the GPS by the bad guy sending data that the GPS thinks is good when it isn't.
Of course it can be done but.......
Yes agreed its far more sophisticated than just a jamming signal. I don't think private yachts have much to fear from this sort of technology.

Why would anyone bother?

However there are certainly security implications.
Crashing a military ship, oil tanker, or passenger plane from a simple box of electronics is a bit too frightening to contemplate.

The easy way the GPS can be manipulated must influence the decision of the military to keep a real time concurrent non GPS position plot.
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Old 01-08-2013, 04:13   #58
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Re: Dust Off Your Sextants! GPS Hacked!

As GPS reliability is being discussed here, I have started a new thread concerning a potential problem with the Furuno GP-80 GPS receiver.
As from 11th August 2013, earlier models of these units are likely to become unreliable.
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Old 01-08-2013, 04:17   #59
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Re: Dust Off Your Sextants! GPS Hacked!

Thanks for starting that thread Nigel. It deserves some publicity.
The thread is here:

http://www.cruisersforum.com/forums/...ml#post1299205
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Old 01-08-2013, 05:53   #60
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Re: Dust Off Your Sextants! GPS Hacked!

When ever the military is about to embark on an operation, they introduce a GPS error, to keep the opposing forces from working effectively. We really don't need the computer nerds monkeying with the system.
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