Back to Squawk list
  • 41

GPS Spoofing: Why are Planes Getting Hacked in the Middle East?

Submitted
In a recent development that has raised alarms among aviation experts, dozens of commercial airliners flying over parts of the Middle East have reported experiencing GPS spoofing attacks in recent months. These attacks involve the transmission of false GPS signals, effectively tricking aircraft navigation systems into believing they are in a different location than their actual position. (aeroxplorer.com) More...

Sort type: [Top] [Newest]


NF2G
David Stark 30
AeroXplorer stories should be posted with a warning that they cannot be read through an ad blocker. In fact, posting of stories that are behind pay walls should be prohibited.
MikePetro
Mike Petro 3
see Mike Laird's comment
johntaylor571
John Taylor 1
Using an ad blocker is basically piracy to view content without supporting the site revenue. With that said, if you are using FireFox, just go to the "reader view" in the address bar next to the little star icon and hot refresh. It bypasses almost all ad blockers.
Paradroid
Gavin Bolton 1
I just use 12ft.io to bypass these types of block
TimDyck
Tim Dyck 1
I had no trouble reading it. Must be something in your system.
sparkie624
sparkie624 5
It comes up for a few seconds and then to view more you have to turn of an Ad-Blocker if you want to view it... That is the problem. Personally, I am not willing to turn it off as it also blocks viruses masquerading as advertisements
TimDyck
Tim Dyck -1
Again I had did not experience that problem. I use Norton to protect against viruses and as a VPN.
sparkie624
sparkie624 1
But do you block Ads.. Nothing to do with Norton! If you do not block ads it works perfectly!
TimDyck
Tim Dyck 1
I didn’t notice a lot of ads. No pop ups or those ones that try to take up half a page. So my ad blocker must be doing it’s job.
johntaylor571
John Taylor 1
He's using an ad blocker. Many websites are using ad block detectors and when detected, a popup blocks further access. If you're not using an ad blocker, can have no problems. Also, disabling the ad blocker for that page only works too.
Bayouflier
Bayouflier 9
Another fine article by Aeroexplorer. The author uses GPS and IRS interchangeably, apparently not knowing that these are two distinct systems. If it is true that there is a system that could introduce fake GPS signals into the cockpit, we better sharpen up our VOR and ILS navigation skills. Over water, you're on your own. (IRS only).
5jc6wy2evj
Sha McC 7
The issue is IRS systems automatically recalibrate themselves during flight from GPS/GNSS data. Spoofed GPS data thus causes the IRS to be recalibrated wrongly - and no real way of getting it back!

It can cause the FMS clock to go wrong (because it assumes the GPS clock is accurate.)

See <https://ops.group/blog/gps-spoof-attacks-irs/> and <https://ops.group/blog/gps-spoofing-update-08nov2023/>

(It's different from GPS Jamming, as GPS jamming would mean 'no data' from the GPS receiver and thus not recalibrate the IRS).
dgfhyrte
Victor Hugo 5
As a reminder the aircraft must be stationary for the duration of the IRS calibration, which takes about 7-8mn, thus IRS will never recalibrate during the flight, because this is just not possible. Position indicated by the aircraft GNSS system is compared to the IRS data, and in case of significant discrepancy, for example during NAT operation if out of RNP 4 or 10, only IRS will be used.
jimjallen
Jim Allen 2
That is true.. I’m not an aviator but i remember a crash from a rushed checklist that didn’t allow the INS(iRS) to recalibrate properly.
MDLaird
Mike Laird 8
Better article available here:
https://aviationweek.com/business-aviation/safety-ops-regulation/serious-threat-gps-spoofing-analysis
dvbavcon
Dean Brossman 11
GPS is a US military controlled and operated system. they have said all along it should not be a primary navigation system. In times of conflict, the system can be and is manipulated so that the enemy cannot use it for ordinance guidance.
Ricovandijk
Rico van Dijk 5
Selective availability hardware is not present on GPS satellites since 1999. Spoofing is most likely ground based interference.
sparkie624
sparkie624 1
Not always... Sometimes the Military plays around with it... Not often, but occasionally. Normally when they do this, there is a NOTAM for the affected area!
johntaylor571
John Taylor 1
The spoofing is happening around Israel, Egypt and Iraq. Let's see, who might be a bad actor in that area of the world? Hmmm, I wonder. Maybe the same people funding the jihadis in the area? Maybe someone who wants to destroy the Great Satan and the Little Satan?
MichaelHale
MichaelHale 3
"Ordnance"
jetjocknj
jetjocknj 3
The military built and operates GPS, but it is not certain that the military has ever said GPS should not be used as a primary navigation system. It's true that the military could shut GPS down during a national emergency, but it would have to be pretty dire. The truth is that almost all commercial flying and all virtually military flying relies on GPS, and so a no-notice shutdown would be catastrophic in the extreme for most airborne traffic.
sparkie624
sparkie624 1
Noting your comment "but it would have to be pretty dire." - If our country is ever attacked, then it would be "but it would have to be pretty dire."! - Being prepared is always better than hoping for the best when everything else goes out.
bbabis
bbabis 2
The military is moving onto Magnetic Field Variation Navigation and in time GPS will become a backup and then just another sensor in the quiver of global navigation.
CCW1
John Prukop -1
I sure HOPE all those Garmin people heard you LOUD AND CLEAR!
ElliotCannon
Elliot Cannon 4
I.N.S. wasn't good enough? Now all the eggs are in one basket (so to speak). I retired in 2006. We even used VLF OMega for awhile. Then I had both of them fail on the way to HNL. We were charged with a gross navigational error. At least we found the island. LOL
CCW1
John Prukop 0
Yep, ALL THE EGGS in ONE basket. And it would seem Garmin has a proprietary $$$ Interest. Would be nice to have LORAN as a backup, but Obummer blew-up all the facilities and destroyed the entire system. I still have an Apollo 618TCA system in my airplane that I spent over $3,500 for... NOW WORTHLESS as Tits on Bacon. How come nobody ever sued Obama over that?

[This poster has been suspended.]

johntaylor571
John Taylor 0
It beat a stopwatch and whiskey compass...
allanrbowman
Allan Bowman 3
Since spoofing is likely to get worse, it is time to put gyro based navigation back into commercial aircraft. They can still have (multiple) gps receivers, Glossnass and US and EU based, but also have voting software that defaults to the gyro when gps deviates too much.
sparkie624
sparkie624 1
It is already there... That is what the AHRS or ADHRS or IRS does. It will navigate without any internal inputs. It only requires 3 minutes of sitting still for the IRS to align and the AHRS less time that that! VOR navigation still works and last time looking for references on the ground also works! AKA, Fly VFR... It is better than becoming a Cork Screw or a Crater!
Highflyer1950
Highflyer1950 3
Plus you can listen to the radio?
mstrawn
Mark Strawn 3
The need a missile that detects a GPS source on the ground and destroys it.
onwardlam
Onward Lam 3
There is more than one gps system that works now. Perhaps the flight systems can refer to them and alert the crew when the data cannot agree. That is assuming at least one of them cannot be spoofed, yet. In addition, there is no reason when the flight systems cannot try to determine their location in the most of old school way - takeoff location + direction + speed + time + altimeter - for an additional data source (approximate but close enough as an arbitrator).
ko25701
ko25701 5
This is why I'm glad I did my primary flight training and long cross country trips with only a paper map, compass and stopwatch. Never leave home without a backup plan!
RaymondHoff
Raymond Hoff 2
I have a question. In the Arctic, pre-GPS, the military flew with Loran and Omega. Are those systems no longer operating? You can get close enough to an airport to get on the ILS and stay on your flight plan. Are these systems now longer used on commercial aircraft?
KAISERAIR01
KAISER AIR 5
IRS was designed to be an independent navigator. But they would drift from the time they were aligned on the ground. Manufacturers of modern aircraft decided to continuously update IRS with GPS input (hybrid IRS) to continuously keep them aligned in flight. If GPS QUIT, then IRS would be sufficient to navigate you safely across an ocean until land-based navigation could refine your position. BUT if GPS LIES to the IRS, then it pulls the entire position off kilter and bad things happen. The real problem: manufacturers thought this couldn't happen so many don't provide an option of turning the GPS input OFF by the pilot...and here we are: back to heading and vectors
RaymondHoff
Raymond Hoff 3
Thanks. We used to release radiosondes using Loran-C and Omega and I forgot that the "fix" was the launch position. Otherwise, Loran-C and Omega didn't have a reference. We generally knew where we launched from, unless there had been a beer delivery that month and then we were never really sure.
gpicou
Gary Picou 2
Omega was decommissioned in 1997, Loran shut down in 2009. We're not dependent on a sinle navigation system.
Ricovandijk
Rico van Dijk 3
The article adds a professor’s statement that it’s unconfirmed who does this and why.
bbabis
bbabis 4
It's no secret. Iran is hoping to keep its oil and military infrastructure a little more protected from GPS targeting.

[This comment has been downvoted. Show anyway.]

CCW1
John Prukop -4
Don't let the NEGATIVE DOWN VOTING dissuade ANY of you. Libtards have no frickin' CLUE as to what's going on and they cannot fathom that their own government is involved in covert operations to infiltrate and overthrow functioning sovereign governments! But History does not lie.
SkyAware123
SkyAware123 2
IT's probably not IRS that gets spoofed but the system that deals with comparing IRS and gps data. I bet it doesn't handle large differences very well.
sparkie624
sparkie624 2
I know it is Old Technology but it is next to Bullet Proof... When all else Fails, you can use ADF... So many are so quick to toss it out the door, but if the Military shuts down the GPS system and the VOR system... What are you going to use to Navigate with??? That is one reason that I keep one in my plane... I jokingly call it my "Google Apocolypse Backup" :) - At least when all else fails, I can at least get a bearing!
stalbott972
Steven Talbott 6
I wouldn't say it's bullet proof if you have a group with enough understanding and technology. Since the ADF as well as VOR would just need radio beacon's in an incorrect position broadcasting the same signal and then the pilot has to determine which one is legitimate or not. Technology no matter the age no matter how well it has lasted is not 100% bullet proof. Although I do agree in general I would rather have more backups than none at all since the odds of a group taking out both gps, setting up Radio towers, and replacing any personal paper maps you might have :) would be a bit complicated.
joris1127
joris1127 5
It's practically impossible to fake NDB transmitters that are received by ADFs. This is because you need enormous masts to broadcast the low frequencies that are used. Same goes for LORAN-C. The reason these are being removed is because of costs and low precision. I would think these are a good backup, though. Satellites are not exactly cheap either.
sparkie624
sparkie624 2
True... But the way I see if, if all the GPS's are taken out of service due to an attack in our country, which would probably happen at night for surprise factor (take WW2 in Hawaii)! If you are up flying at late night in pure darkness and the GPS's go down as well as the VOR's soon after.. there will still be "High Power Radio Stations" to point to, and 3 will give you a close fix... At least you will have a direction to go that is reasonable sound. There are 5 High Power Stations in the US that are 24X7... Where I don't think and certainly hope that I don't need it... it is always a good plan to have something... So many say they have there IPAD, but that will be no good as well... it depends on GPS as well. - With our Current White house and the status of our Military... Nothing would surprise me.
jetjocknj
jetjocknj -3
Political cheamp shots undermines argument and your credibility.
sparkie624
sparkie624 6
you are the only one!
darjr26
darjr26 -1
No he’s not
sparkie624
sparkie624 5
Please explain to me in my post what I said that was not true? Can anyone say without authority and proof that Our Country will never be attacked and that the Military will not shut off the GPS's and possibly other Navigational items... I would like to know why the 4 think that I am wrong?
MichaelDealey
Michael Dealey 5
Agreed. There have been multiple news articles over the past couple of years about a possible EMP attack and if you know anything about the news, you know there in the business of predictive programming.
jimjallen
Jim Allen 4
If things get bag we can go back go the old IFR “I Follow Roads”. Wonder what the NJT toll would be for an A320?

[This poster has been suspended.]

6686L
May I inquire? If you believe the term "IFR" refers to railroads, why are you coming into an aviator's side?
MoominMama
Janice Watkins 1
I do wish people posting wouldn't use initials solely without explaining what they stand for. Those of us lay people, who don't work in avionics, have NO CLUE what they mean!
TimDyck
Tim Dyck 1
You can google them. I have been a HAM operator since my teens so I recognize most of them. Still some are unique to pilots.
BTW if Google won’t find it just ask the person who made the post. About 99.9% of the people here will gladly help you out and that last .1% will just show you who they really are so you can ignore them in the future.
6686L
May I inquire? You are a "lay people"....? What possible benefit can you realize from coming into a site that is obviously run by and for those of us who are directly involved in aviation?
MoominMama
Janice Watkins 1
Ok, as advised by another poster on here. (And why SHOULD I Google all these?)
The only one I do understand is GPS (global positioning system) as I have a sat-nav in my car.
For those of us ignoramuses, (not in the "know", we're not in avionics, not pilots, not aircraft engineers,) what DO these mnemonics mean?
AHRS, ADHRS, VOR, LORAN, VPN, ILS, IRS, GNSS, FMS, NAT, RNP, NOTAM, VLF, HNL, NDB, WA, DC, VFD, MFD.
Please don't use mnemonics without explaining what they mean.
dmboss1021
Dan Boss 2
Well Janice, did you read the title of this publication? It reads "FlightAware Weekly Aviation News and Photo Newsletter". So if you are not an aviator, the onus is on you to learn what the various acronyms represent! The following is a pretty good listing and description of aviation acronyms:
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_aviation,_avionics,_aerospace_and_aeronautical_abbreviations

But at least one you are puzzled about is in fact an airport identifier. All airports everywhere have 3/4 letter identifiers. Some make sense and some do not. Example Miami Florida is KMIA, or MIA for short. The HNL one in your list is for Honolulu Hawaii, and is PHNL.
TimDyck
Tim Dyck 1
Sorry Janice, I thought you would get better replies. I hoped some of the old regulars would step in and help you out but all you found were the new members who think this is like Facebook.
6686L
May i inquire? If you are not an aviator, or otherwise involved in aviation technology, why are you in an aviation-oriented site ?

[This poster has been suspended.]

MoominMama
Janice Watkins 1
Sexist! Why do you presume I'm into cooking?I
I'm interested in this article, just don't understand the mnemonics.
MichaelDealey
Michael Dealey -3
Sounds like someone trying to create an international incident as yet another excuse for war. Classic false flag. It's probably our own CIA, or Mossad, or both.
CCW1
John Prukop -4
A long-time Israeli Mossad Motto: "BY WAY OF DECEPTION THOU SHALT MAKE WAR!"
SkyAware123
SkyAware123 0
Russia and/or Iran ?

[This poster has been suspended.]

6686L
may I respectfully suggest you bone up on the basics of nuclear physics and explosives? They are not practical weapons for any number of reasons.
CCW1
John Prukop -7
And THANKS to Obama the Commie... the Aviation community NO LONGER has a viable backup called LORAN! Gee, what a concept: ELIMINATE A RELIABLE NAVIGATION SOURCE and let the D.O.D. run things. NOT GOOD!
harriergnawing0c
Stef Lar 1
You gonna blame Obama too for not knowing about IRUs, or that funding for Loran was pulled by Congress? "Derangement Syndrome", indeed...
CCW1
John Prukop -1
You've obviously not done any research into the matter. Highly paid lobbyists insured that Congress did their bidding, and it remains that the CIA's created Obama AKA Barry Soetoro signed off on it. And with the swipe of Barry's pen, all of General Aviation's fleet of LORAN systems were deemed obsolete. Who paid? We did, the end users who incurred thousands of inflated $ FRN's (Federal Reserve Notes) to buy and install the gear, plus the Millions, if not Billions of bucks it cost we the Taxpayer to build the infrastructure. Yeah, go ahead with your silly name calling.

[This poster has been suspended.]

sparkie624
sparkie624 3
Not True... A lot of Airlines used those before the AHRS... Older technology, but on long range aircraft over seas and over land utilized LORAN. When I worked on them, the Loran would show exactly where I was as long as the plane was not in the hangar... We had to do routine checks on them...
CCW1
John Prukop -3
I was actually surprised how ACCURATE the LORAN location information was. Maybe it was your installation. I'm in the Seattle area and the APOLLO 618TCA system was always very spot on location wise.

[This poster has been suspended.]

CCW1
John Prukop 0
Israel was a Lord Balfour creation in 1917 under the Balfour Declaration. Most of the libtards out there in flying LA-LA Land haven't a clue... that's why FlightAware downgrades your comment. What a nice bunch. Some people learn the HARD way. SO BET IT!
MichaelDealey
Michael Dealey 3
The libtards down-vote facts of all kinds. It doesn't matter what the subject matter is. If something doesn't support their version of reality, it gets down-voted.
KineticRider
Randy Marco -6
Repugnant's don't believe in FACTS and are ignorant Anti-American TRAITORS!
JayPowell59
Jay Powell 1
LOLOLOL

[This poster has been suspended.]

NX211
NX211 3
I suppose the American military controlled the compass on that airplane as well?

[This poster has been suspended.]

NX211
NX211 3
If you ARE a pilot as you have previously claimed to be, you would know that the compass that is part of the standby instrument package on every commercial aircraft in the air is a simple magnetic compass..
6686L
May I inquire? On what basis did you assume compasses are in "every commercial aircraft". here's some exciting late news - persuant to IACO regs...just about all legit aircraft of every size and type...have an on-board compass as a back-up.

Login

Don't have an account? Register now (free) for customized features, flight alerts, and more!
Did you know that FlightAware flight tracking is supported by advertising?
You can help us keep FlightAware free by allowing ads from FlightAware.com. We work hard to keep our advertising relevant and unobtrusive to create a great experience. It's quick and easy to whitelist ads on FlightAware or please consider our premium accounts.
Dismiss