Global Positioning System (GPS) Spoofing
Science & Technology
14th Oct, 2023
A committee has been established by the Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) to keep an eye on GNSS (Global Navigation Satellite System) spoofing in Indian airspace.
What is GPS spoofing?
- An attempt to alter the initial location of a GPS-enabled device is known as GPS spoofing.
- GPS spoofing sends false data to a receiver to divert traffic, goods, or people with falsified information.
- How is it done? GPS spoofing involves a radio transmitter near a target that interferes with the actual GPS signals being transmitted.
- GPS signals are often weak and transmitted through satellites.
- A stronger radio transmitter can be used to override the weaker signal and send illegitimate coordinates and information to the receiver.
- GPS spoofing can then send people off course or say that someone is somewhere that they are not.
- GPS is one of the global navigation satellite systems (GNSS) used in the world.
- Along with delivering location information, it is also used to keep accurate time.
- These functions can also be disrupted through spoofing or jamming.
Not the same as GPS jamming
- Spoofing is completely different from jamming and much more dangerous.
- As the name suggests, jamming is when the GPS signals are interfered with.
- While planes and other aircraft frequently deal with jamming, spoofing like the recent instances in Iran is reportedly unheard of.
- Compared to GPS jamming, spoofing is more difficult to detect.
- Instances of GPS spoofing involving commercial and airline aircraft over Iranian airspace have increased.
- The navigation systems of at least 20 passenger planes travelling over Iran have been interfered with by phoney GPS signals.
- Boeing 777, 737, and 747 are among the aircraft that were deceived into deviating from their intended route by these erroneous signals originating from the ground.
- These signals defeated the aircraft’s in-built navigation system, which swiftly resulted in the loss of all navigational capabilities.
What are the harms of GPS spoofing?
- Misdirecting cargo shipments to alternate locations to steal the shipments
- Hijacking a boat for piracy purposes
- Interfering with GPS at airports
- Misdirecting cars
- Disrupting the universal time source
- Disrupting services through mobile apps and websites