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Old 28-12-2017, 13:20   #1
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GPS hacking is here



For those of you who know what DEFCON is, this is a speaker from DEFCON25 a couple of months ago. Among the points he rattles through, is that apparently his company deals in GPS systems. And that a number of land-based systems are set up to monitor the normal GPS system, and those in turn routinely are detecting hacks, in the US and globally, which are intentional jamming AND "counterfeiting" of the real GPS signals.

Apparently there is a relatively rare and new L5 signal that is more immune to interference, and there is some ongoing discussion at the government level about introducing changes in the GPS system itself, because the intentional attacks to GPS (not just ours, but the other systems as well) have become so common. Among other things, being used by pirates to misdirect passing vessels.

And a second one at:


At one point I'm sure he refers to AIS as APRS, which is entirely different, but the point still remains...DEFCON speakers usually have some street creds. Apparently GPS no longer can be trusted to the extent it once was.
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Old 28-12-2017, 13:31   #2
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pirate Re: GPS hacking is here

No worries.. still carry my RN 'Small Boats Charts' pack for all oceans on every trip..
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Old 28-12-2017, 14:09   #3
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Re: GPS hacking is here

Just goes to prove, if man makes it, man can break it! Heck, man can even break things he didn't make.
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Old 28-12-2017, 16:23   #4
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Re: GPS hacking is here

As systems increase in complexity the likelihood of vulnerabilities go up. Lucky for us, our ability to counter hacks is just as sophisticated. There is a lot of value is keeping the GPS system simple but to the big guys, GPS is equal to gold so they are trying to squeeze every ounce of that gold for more value at the detriment for those that look at GPS as a tool.
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Old 29-12-2017, 04:26   #5
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Re: GPS hacking is here

For ocean cruisers, GPS jamming and hacking is not a significant threat. Worry more about the weather than this.
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Old 29-12-2017, 08:43   #6
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Re: GPS hacking is here

GPS hacking is better referred as spoofing-

For the commercial vessels, it has been a known concern, for the military (US navy) they have returned celestial navigation to the Naval Academy curriculum. Generally the bypass method besides looking out the window and using multiple sources of positioning is to use multiple satellites from every known constellation (different countries) and internally compare the positions. Being different frequencies this becomes more difficult to spoof successfully.

For Ocean cruising this is no significant issue- until landfall. In distant waters, particularly pirate areas, and places where known salvage of wrecks is performed, moving the position could result in an intentionally stranded vessel. Just a repeat of an old trick of moving the approach lights.....

More important recreational concern- with the internet access and downloading of electronic navigation information, particularly weather, the exposure awareness to electronic mischief is far more important. Particularly if one interconnects via NEMA 2000 all electronics and utilizes one manufacture- the hacking is much easier.

Therefore- it is not one vs another manufacture- it is utilizing multiple methods and disciplining oneself to practice all methods.
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Old 29-12-2017, 08:55   #7
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Re: GPS hacking is here

Boatdriver, you said just what I wanted to say, only better .

Good post.
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Old 29-12-2017, 09:24   #8
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Re: GPS hacking is here

Military GPS units are spoof proof. Have been for a long time. GPS spoofing makes for a cool internet video but it isn’t much of a problem in the real world.

Jamming is a real problem in some parts of the world. And they can jam all frequencies at once so using multiple constellations does not help.
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Old 29-12-2017, 10:03   #9
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Re: GPS hacking is here

Often wondered about this, after the USGov revealed their drones were vulnerable. Not a year later this happened. Eyes and mates watching ahead for us, at all times.
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Old 29-12-2017, 10:06   #10
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Re: GPS hacking is here

My brother who works as a communications engineer for the state tells me that you can buy jammers from the internet for under $300. They come from overseas and come labeled as something else. They are supposed to be short range, but they have raised hell around some airports. I understand that they are mostly used by truckers that dont want their boss to know where they are. Wait until one of the self driving cars gets hacked, by intent, or by accident. We live in interesting times! _____Grant.
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Old 29-12-2017, 10:12   #11
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Re: GPS hacking is here

Dan-
One of the specific incidents mentioned was the recent disagreement by the USN and Iran(?) where a RIB was seized for violating territorial waters, while they USN maintained it was in open water. Granted the Straits of Hormuz might not be open ocean cruising...but other incidents appear to be taking place by pirates, in all the usual places. No specific mention of the Philipines yet, but Somalia comes to mind. Yes, these are the kinds of places where spoofing is an economical option for bad players now.
And the point is not one of who and where, but rather, that spoofing has now become so easy that one can reasonably expect it to be a growing problem, that will affect cruising routes the same way that piracy and other crimes do today. It will also have the potential to make wrecking profitable again.
Military units? You know, in theory, any US civilian who can pass a security and background check can apply for one of those. In practice...unheard of.
And as Nightcrawler points out, the thinking now is that when Iran jammed the military signal on that drone, onboard backup systems also allowed them to land it. So simply jamming a military system may be "good enough", depending on how the entire system is designed, as well as whether the operators know what is happening.

I don't say throw away your GPS and polish up the sextants. Just that GPS as we knew it, now has some potential issues. Sailors in LI Sound, the Chesapeake, SF Bay, the Gulf of Mexico, portions of the Great Lakes...many areas are close enough to questionably target-rich urban areas, so that sailors who aren't doing ocean crossings, may also sometimes need to question the numbers.
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Old 29-12-2017, 10:24   #12
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Re: GPS hacking is here

Piracy is a serious problem whether GPS is involved or not. I doubt a cruiser could be so clueless as to wander into pirate territory due to spoofed or jammed GPS.
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Old 29-12-2017, 10:42   #13
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Re: GPS hacking is here

Soon they will start hiding gps jammers on their enemy's vessel. The device could activate only in adverse weather. It's time to get a decent sextant, because celestial can't be jammed, or can it?
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Old 29-12-2017, 10:50   #14
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Re: GPS hacking is here

Quote:
Originally Posted by transmitterdan View Post
Military GPS units are spoof proof. Have been for a long time. GPS spoofing makes for a cool internet video but it isn’t much of a problem in the real world.

Jamming is a real problem in some parts of the world. And they can jam all frequencies at once so using multiple constellations does not help.
Maybe, maybe not. Either way, few civilians, if any, cruise with military GPS units.
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Old 29-12-2017, 11:31   #15
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pirate Re: GPS hacking is here

Quote:
Originally Posted by boat_alexandra View Post
Soon they will start hiding gps jammers on their enemy's vessel. The device could activate only in adverse weather. It's time to get a decent sextant, because celestial can't be jammed, or can it?
I believe the USA is experimenting with airborne cloud creation..
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