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Trust your GPS? Maybe not...Russia mucks with it


So, in the end, despite the ridicule, a discussion was started…I am satisfied :wink:



Jamming GPS is far less dangerous than spoofing GPS. There’s really nothing you can do about jamming, and that’s basically OK.

Hacking satellites is a much higher-order attack. That’s possible, but why would you bother when it can be trivially spoofed? We need to solve that problem first.



Correct that is the point: perhaps that is why shipping was disturbed in a wide swath of geography beside just the location vector Putin was traveling. that is why ships had issues. All it takes is minor perturbation in the timing signals given the rapid rotation of the earth. but given GNSS satellites are geo-stationary, one can control the effect by choosing satellites and controlling the perturbations to keep errors outside the control volume small to insignificant perhaps? You think this no big deal. Explain how military aircraft and missiles guide themselves. Yep. GNSS.



Level1 the forum user isn’t affiliated with level1techs. He’s just a regular forum user.




Perhaps I see why now ;_) :slight_smile:
They also once mentioned they wondered why anyone would want any GPS beyond cellphone. As a mountaineer, I can tell you, cellphones dont work in the back country on climbs. And I am glad they don’t honestly. But then ships, military, construction. agriculture, etc.



GPS like the Internet was never meant for casuals.

Now that everyone, their dog and their fridge are using it, there are huge problems.
Fixing some of those problems is simply not possible with the nice simple, backward compatible to billions of devices fix is not possible. Either start from scratch or live with having to think a bit before taking a left-hand turn into a brick wall.

GPS jamming: Valid strategy to get cruise missle out of your airspace. Problem is that electro magnetic waves are rather hard to confine to specific areas.

Navigation: Do it like in the old days? In fact, ships still have sextants and precise clocks on board, and paper maps and people who can use them. There is a reason for that.



They’re in an MEO, not as far out as geostationary.

Your device should ignore signals that don’t match up properly with signals from other satellites. Multiple signals would have to be messed with at a time to see that effect, and it would be really obvious to anyone maintaining it, which is why I don’t think there’s anything happening beyond the local (very loose use of local here) level.

Phones are as capable as most other consumer GPS devices, they just rely a lot on also having an internet connection for things like maps.

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Good point since a GNSS device uses as many satellites as possible (up to 7 I think depending on clearance to the full sky). But that does the software do when there are discrepancies in signals? Interpolate? Sure but it probably favors those most overhead right? And is the software able to adapt to errors that are as large as those created on purpose? And what do cruise missiles do when they switch satellites and get erroneous coordinates?



Yes, that’s the signal-distortion detection and direction-of-arrival sensing I linked earlier. Consumer GPS receivers don’t do that stuff. They need to.

I don’t see any reason why that couldn’t be done in software. Cheap GPS spoofers use SDR (software-defined radio) after all, and modern smartphones are as fast as 5 year old laptops these days.

I do think cryptographic signing needs to be implemented also. All three methods are required to make GPS more resilient to disruption.

Cruise missiles use a different GPS signal that we don’t know a whole heck of a lot about, but I think it’s safe to assume it’s cryptographically signed. So it could be jammed, but not easily spoofed.



The cost increase would probably take them off the mass market? And perhaps, given most people aren’t mountaineers, hunters, and back-country fly fishers like me, they mostly just use cell phones anyway. Heck I have wrist GPS that has a ballistic calculator built in for my Kestrel weather meter so I fall way out in the tail of the bell curve.



Galileo has “integrity messages” for mission critical applications. They also have a pay-for channel which is encrypted, but I don’t know if it has the same level of protections as the military/government channels.

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So, after a politician disrupted our talk, I started discussion to learn and I have. thank you all. I’ll try an exercise more restraint when attacked in future, but I am who I am.



Yes, it’s called TESLA, for Timed Efficient Stream Loss-Tolerant Authentication. Last I heard it was still in development, is that available now? The acronym they chose makes it super hard to Google.

For other 'muricans, Galileo is a separate GPS system from the EU. Basically the same thing, but not reliant on US resources.



Further , when I use the acronym GNSS is is a combination of all the global systems (GPS, GLONASS, Galileo, and BeiDou,)
Apologies for the extra comma at the end…I write a lot of python and one always puts commas in sequences, lists, and dicts after the last element just in case you add to it :wink:



“super hard to google”. Damn Elon Musk for using that mans surname. :wink: But then Elon or Musk would not have had the same ring to it eh? would you buy a flammable electric vehicle called “Musk”? I’d bet most would not LOL.



:confused: I don’t have a YouTube channel, and I don’t report on anything. You must be thinking about someone else.

It’s absolutely a local effect. The attack surface on GPS satellites is so minute that there’s no way the USAF could possibly have their constellation hijacked. GLOSNASS is run by Ruscosmos, so no hacking required. Galileo is run by the GSA who aren’t incompetent either.

Besides, since all of the disruption happened in Russian territory (and Syria) the chances are that even if they did just introduce jitter using GLOSNASS satellites, it would be no different at all to the way the USA implemented Selective Availability back in the day.

Unless anyone here actually lives within the borders of Russia, this is a complete non-issue — it just doesn’t affect them.

Is GNSS accuracy/reliability overall an issue worth talking about? Sure. But that’s not what the sensationalist/political title of this thread suggests the focus should be.

No-one in “the West” should be worried about Russians mucking with GPS, because they haven’t. The actual report says no such thing. The only people that have messed with GNSS in the West have been folks from Texas. Americans. So Americans have been mucking with GNSS in the West — not Russians.

I appreciate how fake news outlets like Business Insider can deliberately distort reports to fabricate sensationalist garbage to sell copy, but it’s probably a good idea to read the report itself and see what was actually written before propagating the headlines.



There was nothing fake about it. Please keep politics out of the discussion.

They showed the capability (and inclination!) to mess with GPS on a larger scale, and that’s worth talking about. We need GPS, it should be secured.



" I don’t have a YouTube channel"
Okay, I am new here, so you are not Wendell et al. Point taken.

Yes, they are sensationalist and I understand taht. But two points I should have made clearer but came out in the discussion anyways:

  1. I read it but the distortions, to me, while somewhat local, seemed to be a bit larger than just a local signal would have created.
  2. I wondered how vulnerable our reliance on GNSS (all global signals not just GPS) is Much of the navigation of nearly everything we do relies on it. If the rest of our infrastructure is being hacked, why not GNSS? So I started a discussion, perhaps poorly, but nonetheless sincere.

I have a wrist-worn GPS from Garmin that boasts them use not just GPS but GLOSNASS as well given their satellites also circle the globe.



Of course it was fake. They aren’t messing with the global GPS. They are legally implementing a kind of “Selective Availability” within their own borders — an entirely local disturbance. Those are completely different things.

Nothing the Russkies are doing will make it any more difficult or dangerous for you to rely on GNSS to get to your local mall.



"Of course it was fake. "
and you now that how? Ships out in the water far away were affected. Maybe it was a system-based disruption not a jamming of the radio band? Do you have evidence you are not providing?