[time-nuts] Ships fooled in GPS spoofing attack suggest Russian cyberweapon

Clint Jay cjaysharp at gmail.com
Mon Aug 14 11:38:56 EDT 2017

All very true and yes, for a capable programmer and hardware tech it's not
going to be an impossible task.

I would still expect a turnkey solution to exist though as I can see many
applications for not just state actors.

On 14 Aug 2017 4:32 pm, "Attila Kinali" <attila at kinali.ch> wrote:

> On Mon, 14 Aug 2017 10:26:13 +0100
> Clint Jay <cjaysharp at gmail.com> wrote:
> > That it can "so easily" be spoofed (it's not a trivial hack to spoof and
> > would, as far as I can see, take good knowledge of how GPS works and
> skill
> > to implement) is worrying and it could have disastrous consequences if
> > anyone decided to use it for malicious means but I'd be surprised if
> there
> > wasn't a turnkey solution available to anyone who has the funds.
> You don't need a turnkey solution. If you start from zero and are working
> alone, it probably will take you a month or two to write the code to spoof
> GPS L1 C/A. If you start from one of the GnuRadio based GPS simulators,
> you can do it in a weekend.
> If you want to spoof L2C and L5 as well and also Galileo OS E1/E5,
> it will take a bit longer, but not that much, as 90% of the code shared.
> Not only is this very simple. All the documentation you need is readily
> available and packaged such, that you don't need to know anything about
> GNSS systems before you start and it will not slow you down significantly.
> (e.g. Pick up the book from Hegarty and Kaplan and you can just write
> the code as you read it).
> The most difficult part of this is not creating the signals, but figuring
> out a way what PRN's and fake position to choose, such that the tracking
> loop of the target doesn't go completely bonkers and needs to do a
> re-aquisition on all signals. But even that is not that difficult, if
> you have some estimate of the target's location. Or you can simply not
> care about it, if you have a slow moving target, like a car or a ship,
> as the re-aquisition will take less than a minute.
> There have been discussions on adding authentication to GNSS services
> for quite some time (at least 10 years, probably longer). And it
> culminated in the CS and PRS services of Galileo. I.e. they are a
> restricted and/or paid-for service. I am pretty sure that this will
> change at some point and the OS serivces (including the free services
> of GPS) will provide some basic authentication system as well.
> In the meantime, people who rely on GNSS heavily have monitoring
> facilites that check the on air signals for degradation or spoofing.
> As this requires multiple monitoring stations over the whole area
> covered, to ensure that no spoofing or jamming attempt goes unnoticed,
> this is rather expensive. The only use of this kind of system, that I
> am aware of, are airports. And yes, this is not fool-proof. A narrow
> beam spoofer pointed at some airplane will go unoticed, as all the
> monitoring stations are on the ground.
>                                 Attila Kinali
> --
> It is upon moral qualities that a society is ultimately founded. All
> the prosperity and technological sophistication in the world is of no
> use without that foundation.
>                  -- Miss Matheson, The Diamond Age, Neil Stephenson
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