Sunday, January 12, 2020

GPS Jamming and Spoofing: When Good Signals Go Bad

Yesterday's report mentioned signals jamming being a possible cause for the mistaken plane shoot down over Iran.  It was reported there was no communication from the pilot before the plane crashed. Was the pilot unable to communicate due to the already mentioned jamming? 
  • Iran: Communication Jamming Led to Missile Fire

    In the comments section of yesterday's report additional links were left regarding "jamming"
    a generalized article on GPS jamming being done globally
    it's clearly a problem

    "The vast majority of incidents involve GPS-based navigation systems either experiencing a total loss of signal or — more alarmingly — misreporting the aircraft’s position
  Another question that needs answering is why this plane was cleared for take off from the airport in Iran? Who really okayed the take off? We're other planes flying as well? Unknowns. 
Might there have been some Spoofing goin' on? Spoofing was also mentioned in some information I'd read yesterday. Jamming and Spoofing appear to be more problematic then most of us are likely aware of. Unless we're military? Pilots? Or nefarious individuals with ties to military and intelligence communities? Can't forget criminal cartels... traffickers, smugglers and the like. If you're one of those kinds of people you might not learn a thing from the article below? For the rest of us, Spoofing and Jamming have been around for a while and might be used more often then we'd care to think about.

GPS Jamming and Spoofing: When Good Signals Go Bad

The most ubiquitous way that the world intersects with the geospatial domain is through location-enabling technologies such as GPS and other GNSS that power and support transportation, communication, and logistics around the globe. This component of our invisible infrastructure is deeply embedded into our daily lives in ways we usually don’t think about, apart from when we expect our ability to navigate to be accurate and instantaneously available. Undermining the systems’ reliability? Messing with the GPS? Them’s fightin’ words.
Still, it’s happening and more frequently. The 30 or so GPS satellites themselves are not as vulnerable to disruption as the signals that they send out and the units that receive them. For instance, it might seem like a nice idea to create a quiet zone by having incoming calls, messages, and Wi-Fi blocked in an area, but jamming these signals puts many other systems – like GPS – at collateral risk. It’s illegal to own, sell, or use a GPS jammer in the United States but that’s not so in many other places. The devices themselves are produced in large quantities in China and elsewhere, and their low cost (about $100 or less) makes them even more tempting for malfeasants. Where there’s a will, there’s a way for people to acquire and use these.
Jamming signals is the simple, but less elegant, approach to GPS signal disruption. Its more complicated and more sophisticated cousin, GPS spoofing, is also becoming more accessible, both technically and financially. Spoofing works by sending fake signals to a GPS receiver that mimic the ones that the real satellites send. Weak signal strength of these false ones was a problem in the past, but new technologies have allowed the signals to become strong enough – and more similar to the real ones – that it is possible to have the receiver begin to follow the false ones over the real ones. As David Last, a former president of the United Kingdom’s Royal Institute of Navigation, recently said, “Jamming just causes the receiver to die, spoofing causes the receiver to lie.”

Todd Humphries, an engineering professor at the University of Texas at Austin, explains it well in his 2012 TEDx presentation. In the video he shares footage of how he has made the little blinking blue dot on his cell phone’s map – the universal icon for the “you are here” symbol – start to drift blocks away from his home location where he and his phone are actually sitting still. Since then, he and his research team have done more than these simple at-home demonstrations. In 2013, they tested their spoofing technologies on a 200-foot yacht in the Mediterranean (with the full cooperation and awareness of the ship’s crew) and digitally manipulated the ship to adjust its directional course as a “correction” that was in fact a complete misdirection. The ship’s autopilot simply followed its own protocols to make the adjustment, without any awareness that the incoming signals were bogus.
Larger ships are just as vulnerable to these manipulations. In 2017, a tanker ship in the Black Sea had its navigational system indicate that it was suddenly in a completely different and improbable location: at an airport 30 kilometers away from its actual location at sea. All together about 20 ships were affected by this temporary attack, which is now believed to have been Russians experimenting with new approaches to cybersecurity breaches. GPS signals are regularly jammed in areas immediately around the Kremlin in Moscow, but this Black Sea trouble was the largest real and successful spoofing effort known to date.
Some GPS spoofers have more innocuous intentions, such as those who would try to fool their fellow Pokémon GO players by faking movements. But really, there are more ways to cause harm than good with these abilities. Virginia Tech’s Curtis Zeng and his colleagues have managed to further lower the barriers by creating a successful spoofing system that costs only a few hundred dollars. With this inexpensive system in place, they were able to insert manipulated, false signals into navigational routes that were being followed by volunteers in a simulated driving situation. The attacker does not change the original destination, but instead manipulates the user's real-time location (now a “ghost” location) on the map. The navigation system will recalculate a fake virtual route from the ghost location to the original destination, one that would be physically feasible for the user to travel in the real world. Ideally, this would not trigger the telltale "re-calculating" warning, depending on whether the ghost location is on or off the original navigation route. Drivers continue to follow the navigation instructions, but now they are actually on a new route that the attackers planned.
Even more tricky is that Zeng and his colleagues managed to swap in false map layouts to further keep the drivers in the dark. With these “ghost” maps in place, almost all of the drivers in this study naively continued to follow directions that had been tweaked to arrive at false destinations. According to Zeng, “Users tend to heavily rely on navigation systems in unfamiliar areas rather than learning the map and planning routes ahead in an old-fashioned way. It is (already) hard for them to drive, follow navigation instructions, and cross-check the surrounding environment at the same time. Moreover, few users understand how navigation systems work and how hackers can manipulate them. Many users have also experienced brief navigation malfunctioning in real life, so a rapid ‘blip’ in the system does not alert them (to any changes having been made).”
Tech-smart people are figuring out how to do this for nefarious reasons and other tech-smart people are working to stop them, or at least give us more chances for better outcomes. A group of Irish electrical engineers recently documented the ways in which they could successfully achieve multi-frequency spoofed GPS signals with inexpensive and readily available equipment, to show that it could be done (multi-frequency had been thought unachievable) and to continue to keep the conversations active. Overestimating and underestimating the capacities of the adversaries are both counterproductive activities.
Efforts with multiple strategies and tactics are underway by researchers, the public sector, and the federal government to combat the problems. What several of these have in common is that they’re working to have the overall system of navigation be less reliant on GPS signals and their related time stamps alone. Those atomic-clock-enabled time stamps are considered so reliable that they are counted on for countless processes. At Clemson University, engineers are experimenting with a technique that regularly samples real GPS signals and tags those signals in a way that confirms their validity. Other users’ devices can automatically compare the ones issued by Clemson with the ones that their devices are collecting. This isn’t stopping spoofing from happening, but it is making the end user aware if their signals are being compromised. Meanwhile, other researchers are taking it a step further and developing ways to correct the compromised signals. Other approaches being pursued by private companies involve having navigational systems ready to receive signals from alternative sensors, such as mobile phone networks or commercial satellites, when it is detected that the GPS signals have irregularities. These diverse strategies may not seem coordinated, but one organization that is staying on top of the problem is the Resilient Navigation and Timing Foundation, a group that is involved with the situation on many global fronts.
We’re confronted with jamming and spoofing that can be accomplished successfully by small-time actors building cheap contraptions in their basements, and larger actors, with deeper pockets and expertise, that may be working on behalf of foreign governments ( or domestic governments?) . Really, it’s all part of a bigger problem: that the whole GPS system has too few redundancies and too many potential leaks that can be compromised too readily.
One path being pursued is simply to have more GPS satellites be part of the collection as quickly as possible, and to produce new receivers designed with as many cybersecurity countermeasures as possible. We celebrate the open GPS system that provides us with such novel and independent ways to leverage location-based goods and services, but it’s clearly been a mixed blessing. 


  1. some anomalies regarding the Ukrainian flight-

    "The doomed Ukrainian jet was an hour late leaving Tehran, however.

    UIA says the holdup was a baggage-related delay, as the pilot was concerned the aircraft was overweight.

    Danilov says out of an abundance of safety, the pilot ordered an unusually large number of suitcases — 80 in total — to be taken off the plane.

    An unusually large number of suitcases were taken off the plane- 80 suitcases in total- unusually large number, particularly when one consider there were about 170 passengers.. and 80 suitcases were removed?

    Considering the stringent limits on suitcase, sizes, weights etc., this does seem, as mentioned, an unusual amount of luggage to remove?


    1. This Ukrainian jet explosion was not as it seems. Too many fake attachments for me to swallow.

  2. successfully achieve multi-frequency spoofed GPS signals with inexpensive and readily available equipment

    And what kind of this malignant behavior can be obtained when using state of the art equipment?

    Since this didn't blow up into a really big bang, it makes me wonder how many party's were involved? The USA and Israel definitely, but what about the Ayatollahs?
    Soleimani was a popular general for his bravery and astute battle plans, always leading from the front.
    Did the ruling elite in Iran see him as a threat and obliged the Zionist death dealers to get rid of a perceived threat to their rule?
    It wouldn't be the first time the Ayatollahs got in bed with the Zionists. The Iran-Contra affair and not releasing the embassy hostages till AFTER the 1980 election. In fact, they were released the day of Reagan's inauguration.

    Then there's this tweet which fully exposed Trump and Pompous Ass Pompeo's lies.

    1. I have been seeing this but I don't agree. Robert Mackey is an agent of misinformation. Here is a brief translation of a speech made today by Hassan Nasrallah Hezbollah Leader by a trusted translator living in Lebanon:
      ["Points from Nasrallah's speech, marking the (religious) 7th day of General Suleimani's death:

      Nasrallah went into a long list of the 'good' that General Suleimani had done in the region, mainly his efforts in the war against ISIS that saved tens of thousands of Christian and Muslim lives in Lebanon, Syria and in Iraq – that Suleimani was instrumental in the defeat of ISIS whom the US, saudi and israel were supporting. He also asked of Barzani to publicly thank the martyred General Suleimani for saving the lives of thousands of kurds in Iraq when they were under ISIS attacks. *(I guess the CIA put a kibosh on Barzani showing ANY appreciation of anything Iranian since the death of Suleimani and Nasrallah wanted viewers to know the name of the ingrate).

      Nasrallah also revealed that Suleimani spent the whole of the Hezbollah-israel 2006 war helping bring victory to Hezbollah and humiliation to israel. Soleimani was also instrumental in rushing funds to south Lebanon immediately after the war to rebuild the Leb homes that were bombed by israel, insuring that no post-war homelessness occurred in the south of Lebanon, which was ground zero during the war.

      Nasrallah continued by asserting that the number one enemy of the Resistance is the USA, relegating israel to second place. He said that even though all US presidents are liars, Trump specially is the biggest and worst liar of them all. He went into a long list of blatant Trump lies – lies we’re all too familiar with. He also went into breaking down the geopolitical implications of Trump opting for 'more sanctions' instead of more bullets after Iran missiled the US base in Iraq, saying that Trump blinked at war with Iran and that this shows a palpable US weakness in the region. He said that all of Trump's arrogance and lies are compensations for US losing power, especially in Iraq.

      Furthermore, he reminded viewers that Suleimani's murder will not be forgotten, that the Resistance, as a multi-nation cooperative, has entered a new phase of battles that will be centered around getting the US out of the mideast. He advised the US to leave Iraq, saying that "the US has a choice of leaving Iraq either vertically or horizontally – and either way, the US will be leaving". Here, dear reader, I don't know whether this following statement of his was literal or just a turn of phrase, but after saying "either way, the US will be leaving", he (in a ‘let slip’ way) added: “… and in a few days, work on this will begin".

      He also said that the Iranian sophisticated missiles that were fired at the Ein al-Asad base did not only create a deterrence against US military assaults on Iran, but that these launched missiles were also a message specifically to israel to remind it of its geopolitical weakness, a weakness that US military aid will not be able to compensate for. He said that israel is in constant fear and weakness and that at this stage, all it can do is play the 'delay' games – and that these delays games will not change the end result which will be the eviction of the US from the region and the liberation of Historic Palestine.

      He closed with asking his followers to prepare for this new era that the Resistance has entered, a post-Suleimani phase that will begin with the eviction of the US from Iraq at the hands of the Axis of Resistance, and that liberating Iraq from US forces will be just the first of several chapters."]

      Suleimani was second under the Axis of Resistance (AoR) under Hassan Nassrallah...MUCH esteemed and loved by Hezbollah and all of the Resistance. He absolutely was not an agent that is being passed around right now...that is coming out of telaviv/dc with their agents all over the internet and msm.

    2. @ greg bacon

      "And what kind of this malignant behavior can be obtained when using state of the art equipment?"

      We'd have to guess at that for sure! I can't even imagine the capabilities of the state actors and their intelligence agencies.

  3. Interesting. The above comment was me, Greg Bacon. But when I tried to leave a comment yesterday using my name, it was dumped.

  4. Penny...I just wrote a long comment and it disappeared. I will try to rewrite it but I feel we are being censored. It took me about 1/2 hour or more to write up. I'll try it again :(

  5. Penny, I am trying this again but it won’t be the same. In connecting dots as you do and have impressed on me from your style…I am sending my ‘dots’ for whatever it’s worth.
    Consider this article:

    dated 17 July 2019

    Connect the name(s) Rajavi and Rojava.
    Remember the countries the US vowed to take out in 5 years for the benefit of Israel.

    Consider quotes of article (but read it so to not take out of context):
    [“"Iran Maryam, Maryam Iran," the protesters chanted back, holding up posters of Rajavi in a show of admiration bordering on religious devotion to the leader of the Iranian Mujahideen-e Khalq, commonly referred to as MEK or PMOI.”]

    [“In her brief speech via video feed, Rajavi also thanked her "friends" in the US. Today, they include representatives, senators, ex-generals, former ambassadors and current policymakers of all political stripes.
    In fact, two of Donald Trump's right-hand men have been on the MEK's payroll: National Security Adviser John Bolton and the president's personal lawyer, Rudy Giuliani, have both charged hefty fees to speak at MEK rallies in the past few years.”]
    [“"We don't have to say, 'What could be worse?' We know that there is something much better," said Giuliani, who has publicly entertained and backed the prospect of regime change in Tehran.
    He went on to joke that Rajavi has more support than he does in the US Congress - and judging by the group's influence among powerbrokers in Washington, he may be right.”]
    [“Bolton, a regular speaker at MEK gatherings, shares the group's view that the Iranian regime cannot be reformed and instead must be toppled. At a MEK conference in Paris in 2017, a few months before he joined the Trump administration, Bolton told the crowd they would be celebrating the fall of the Iranian government before 2019.
    "I have said for over 10 years since coming to these events that the declared policy of the United States of America should be the overthrow of the mullahs' regime in Tehran," he said at the time.”]
    [“ MEK HISTORY”]
    [“Once out of Iraq, the MEK began to resettle in Albania in 2013. A year earlier, former US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton removed the group from the State Department's terrorist blacklist - 15 years after it was originally added - allowing its members to work openly in the US”]
    ***TAKE NOTE OF THE YEAR 2013*** As mentioned in the interviews in this article by the CBC: Most supposed survivors mention on or close to this same year.

    ["If the group is taken off the terrorist list, it will be able to freely lobby the American government under the guise of an Iranian democracy movement," she wrote in 2011, comparing it to the influence Iraqi exiles exerted on the US decision to invade Iraq.”]

    [“Tanter said he avoids using the term MEK because of its affiliation with the State Department's blacklist, preferring to go with PMOI, which stands for the People's Mujahideen of Iran.”] Sound familiar?
    [“Tanter told MEE that bipartisan support for the group stems mostly from the organising efforts of the OIAC advocacy group. He said the OIAC is composed of Iranian Americans from across the US, including many white-collar professionals”]
    [“In 2006, a US State Department report said the MEK carried out a series of deadly attacks in Iran, blaming the movement for a 1981 bombing in Tehran that claimed the lives of dozens of top Iranian officials, including Chief Justice Mohammad Beheshti. The group also openly conducted violent raids on Iranian embassies across the world in 1992.”]

    1. [“MEK rallies often feature pro-Saudi speakers and sometimes even Saudi officials. For instance, Turki al-Faisal, a Saudi prince, former intelligence chief and key diplomat, addressed MEK rallies in Paris in 2016 and 2017, prompting accusations from Tehran that Riyadh supports terrorism.”]
      [“The Saudis are not the only foreign officials to attend MEK events.
      Former Canadian prime minister Stephen Harper spoke at the group's conference this month in Albania, where he was joined by dozens of legislators and ex-ministers from around the world, including former US senator and Democratic vice-presidential candidate Joe Lieberman and parliament members from across the Middle East.
      Most of the speakers denounced Iran and sang the praises of Maryam Rajavi and the MEK.”]
      [“The 2006 State Department report says the MEK mixes "Marxism, feminism, nationalism and Islam". Indeed, the group's original logo showcases communist symbols, including a sickle and red star, below a verse from the Quran that praises those who struggle - the mujahideen.”]
      ***Israel is all about Communism, has turned the US and Europe by it and longs for a new Bolshevik Revolution/Empire or Israel 2.0 as Penny states***

    2. Something I had to trim out because of being too long is the fact that false flags, hoax's and a litany of deception is included with any and all tools to bring forth Israel 2.0 or IMOW Bolshevik Israel. The US currently supports and 'houses' these terrorist groups for Iraq, Syria, Iran, Turkey and all the ME. They include MEK, Barzani's KURDS, Gulen and Co., etc. The US and NATO, SA and the master of evil israel create, form and finance all of them as experienced for so long with war against Syria.

  6. wow: wallfower you've done some digging that's for sure-

    did a search through my archives and

    "The State Department urged the Iraqi government to remain “patient and flexible” and seek a voluntary arrangement for relocating the former rebels, who were disarmed by U.S. troops after the overthrow of Saddam in 2003. (We need our MEK brand terrorists to ruin Syria, you can’t ask them to leave your own country)

    “The United States is concerned by the government of Iraq’s reference on July 31 to the possible closure of Camp Ashraf by involuntary relocation of its residents,” Patrick Ventrell, the State Department’s acting deputy spokesman, said in a statement on Wednesday.

    The MeK, also known as the People's Mojahedin Organization of Iran (PMOI), was designated by the State Department as a foreign terrorist organization in 1997 when former President Bill Clinton was trying to open talks with the Iranian government.

    A U.S. federal court in June ordered Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton to decide within four months on removing the MeK from the U.S. terrorist list or they will do it. (The judges will remove the MEK from the terror list. Clinton, that is Hillary in this case, will simply wait for the judges to remove the terrorists then she will appear to have clean hands)"

    1. Hey thanks for your links. I knew you must have them somewhere but didn't look. Sure matches up huh? When I think about all the terrorists groups in this nation, nato and in targeted Asian nations I shutter at the enormity of it. Not counting the legions in Afghanistan in care of the Great Satan. It confounds me of the complete madness in the making of israel, israel 2.0 etc. and the sell outs who are dumb and happy to oblige and the lengths MIC/bankers go to. Unbelievable needs a stronger definition!

    2. yes wallflower, it matches up perfectly- Usrael have their lackey terror crews- MEK, PKK, AQ, the Uighurs too, they all morph in and out of rebranded terror there can always be a new pitch to 'fight' the latest terrorist scourge... shakes head.

      Think about all the money being made feeding this cycle?
      You're right unbelievable does need a stronger definition!

  7. btw: the comments are being weird today?
    don't know why?