What used to be a fictional James Bond plot in 1997 Tomorrow Never Dies movie is now a reality. In the movie, GPS spoofing is being used to divert a British frigate off course into Chinese territorial waters. Obviously, the way GPS spoofing is portrayed in the movie is quite inaccurate, the outcome and risks are very real.

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On July 19th Iran seized a British Oil tanker that was supposedly sailing in Iran’s territorial waters.

On July 23rd it was released that GNSS Spoofing was involved to send the UK tanker off course.

And on August 7th, it was confirmed by US defense official, that the GPS attacks originated from Abu Musa Island, in the Persian Gulf near the Strait of Hormuz, apparently to cause ships and aircraft to inadvertently wander into Iranian waters or airspace, thus justifying a seizure.

GNSS and GPS spoofing is a common practice in modern warfare, we’ve seen wide and long-range spoofing engaged in multiple instances such as the  December 2011 US Spy Drone Hijack,  the June 2017 Black Sea spoofing incident, and the recent June 2019 spoofing on Israel’s airport

This incident proves that both manned and unmanned platforms, inland, sea, and air, are all vulnerable to this type of attacks.

GNSS spoofing attacks are occurring often, and they are becoming worryingly dangerous. Regulus Cyber is dedicated to providing solutions for GNSS receivers to protect themselves against this threat, last month the company released a distressing report based on research on Tesla Model 3 vehicle, showing that spoofing can even be used to take the remote control and divert vehicles off the route. 

This is precisely what Iran is currently blamed for doing, utilizing GNSS jamming and spoofing to divert ships off course into their territorial waters, providing them with an excuse to take over those ships and obstruct international shipping lines. 

We are heading to an autonomous future, and in this future, our entire technological infrastructure and mobility depend on reliable, safe satellite navigation. Instances like this should serve as a reminder that while GNSS is an amazing technology, it is highly vulnerable and should be cyber secure just like any other connected system.

Regulus Cyber Spoofing Autonomous Vehicle Testing Pyramid GNSS Protection

www.regulus.com

*Watch the webinar on the Tesla Model 3 to learn more about what happened in the experiment and the solutions available to protect against it – http://bit.ly/RegulusTesla