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Vessel GPS Spoofing Patterns Discovered #cybersecurity

Examination of global ship tracking data for the last two years has shown several instances of multiple vessels reporting their locations as being on land at airports far from where the ships were operating off shore.

Image: Vessel at Sochi Harbor Reporting Itself at Sochi Airport.

“We first became interested in this problem in June when a vessel master in the Black Sea reported his GPS showing him to be at the Gelendzhik airport, about 25 miles from his real location,” said Dana A. Goward, President of the non-profit Resilient Navigation and Timing Foundation. “He provided photographs of equipment and other information that convinced experts his GPS receiver was being deliberately spoofed.”

About 20 other vessels in the area were reported to be similarly affected.

“Spoofing” a GPS receiver is the intentional transmission of false GPS signals to cause it to provide incorrect time or location information. “Jamming” is blocking reception of GPS with stronger signals and is easier and more common than spoofing.

“In July, we followed-up on the June report and found evidence that, for some in the Black Sea, GPS signals were still being periodically disrupted. We then contacted Windward Ltd., a leader in maritime data and analytics to investigate further,” said Goward.

By running its algorithms on data from vessels' Automatic Identification System (AIS), Windward experts identified two additional instances of mass GPS interference in 2017, lasting for months each.

Full story here Maritime Executive

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