The dangerous rise of GPS attacks

May 2, 2024
Thousands of planes and ships are facing GPS jamming and spoofing. Experts warn these attacks could potentially impact critical infrastructure, communication networks, and more, Matt Burgess writes for Wired.

NEW YORK - The disruption to GPS services started getting worse on Christmas Day. Planes and ships moving around southern Sweden and Poland lost connectivity as their radio signals were interfered with. Since then, the region around the Baltic Sea—including neighboring Germany, Finland, Estonia, Latvia, and Lithuania—has faced persistent attacks against GPS systems, and more, Matt Burgess writes for WiredContinue reading original article.

The Military & Aerospace Electronics take:

2 May 2024 - This spring, Politico's Tomasso Lecca wrote that GPS jamming has been taking place in continental Europe with a focus on Russia's Kaliningrad exclave. The 86-square-mile patch of Russia located between Poland and Lithuania on the Balitic coast is of significant military interest to the Kremlin.

“Russia is regularly attacking the aircraft, passengers, and sovereign territory of NATO countries,” said Dana Goward, president of the U.S.-based Resilient Navigation and Timing Foundation, a GPS users lobby group.

“It is a real threat,” Goward warned. “There is one instance of accidentally jamming we know of that almost resulted in a passenger aircraft impacting a mountain,” he said, referring to a case reported by NASA in 2019.

Burgess writes that foreign ministers in Estonia, Latvia, and Lithuania have all blamed Russia for GPS issues.

“It cannot be ruled out that this jamming is a form of hybrid warfare with the aim of creating uncertainty and unrest,” Jimmie Adamsson, the chief of public affairs for the Swedish Navy, tells WIRED. “Of course, there are concerns, mostly for civilian shipping and aviation, that an accident will occur creating an environmental disaster. There is also a risk that ships and aircraft will stop traffic to this area and therefore global trade will be affected.”

Related: Airlines report GPS signal jamming: Russia gets the blame

Related: The growing problem of jamming and spoofing of GPS satellite navigation signals just keeps getting worse

Related: Chinese ability to use laser weapons and electronic jamming to defeat U.S. GPS satellites a growing concern

Jamie Whitney, Senior Editor
Military + Aerospace Electronics

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