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Did You Know

Posted by Meelickman 
Re: Did You Know
23 February, 2012 08:30
£40 GPS jammers[center][/center]
By Ted Thornhill
Satellite navigation systems are at risk from criminals, terrorists or even just bored teenagers, with the potential to cause major incidents from maritime disasters to chaos in financial markets, leading experts warned today.
From maps on car dashboards and mobile phones, to road tolls, aviation and marine navigation systems and even financial exchanges, much of modern life relies on Global Navigation Satellite Systems (GNSS) that use satellite signals to find a location or keep exact time.
The familiar Global Positioning System (GPS) set up by the U.S. government, and GLONASS, a similar Russian system, were both built for military purposes.

But they are now available to nearly everyone - and, worryingly, can the signals can be jammed with a devices that can be bought in China for as little as £40.
Experts are worried about havoc that could be caused if GNSS signals were illegally jammed, said Bob Cockshott, a director at Britain's ICT Knowledge Transfer Network - an initiative funded by the UK's national innovation agency.
The problem was illustrated in 2009 when navigation systems at Newark Airport in the United States began suffering daily breakdowns brought about by a truck driver with just a cheap, low-powered jammer in his vehicle going by on a nearby road.
‘We have moved on from a potentially threatening situation to a real danger that we must address now,’ Cockshott told Reuters.
‘Certainly toughening the law to make it illegal to possess one is certainly a step that can be taken. But before that, we need to know just how many of them there are and how widespread the problem is.’
Some devices confiscated by police possessed ‘monstrous’ transmission power when compared with the weak signal emitted by satellites and that had serious implications, Cockshott said.
Researchers in 2010 issued low-level jamming from the coast to see the effect on shipping in the English Channel, one of the world's busiest shipping lanes.

They noted that ships veered off course without their knowledge, gave out false readings to other vessels about their position so risking collisions, and caused communications systems to fail, preventing crew talking to coastguard.
Cockshott said there were now serious concerns ‘that we are going to see a disaster’ in the Channel within the next decade.
Nor do the jammers require great expertise to make.
‘You could imagine the bored teenager, hacker personality builds one of these things just to see what would happen,’ he said.
While jamming poses an immediate threat, a potentially more serious risk is posed by 'spoofing' - creating false GPS signals to alter users perceptions of time or location.
Until recently, while theoretically possible, such technology was not seen as viable or affordable.
However, Todd Humphreys, a specialist in GPS technology from the University of Texas, told Reuters he had developed the first GPS civilian spoofer, a 'very powerful' device which cost under $1,000 to assemble.
He said spoofers could be attractive to anyone who could make money from fooling GPS systems, from fishermen wanting to work in forbidden waters, motorists dodging road charges to those wanting to cheat the world's financial trading markets.
'The financial exchanges that depend so much on their own credibility and on people's trust of the markets could be damaged fairly significantly by routine manipulation of the time stamps that they apply to all of their transactions,' he said.

'That could cause turmoil in the markets and people to pull out of the market automatically because their algorithms are designed to pull out when something looks fishy.'
Unscrupulous traders could also use a time discrepancy of just a few milliseconds to make large gains via inter-market arbitrage. Like jammers, they could be easy to put together.
'It's not outside the capability of any other smart graduate student in GPS or GNSS across the world,' he said. 'And it's not outside the capability of any kind of sophisticated terrorist organisation.'
No fully-fledged spoofing attacks have yet been reported, although an Iranian engineer claimed to have used the technique to down a U.S. stealth drone last December
Re: Did You Know
23 February, 2012 09:31
Yes first saw jamming demonstrated by authorities at an undisclosed location in an EU country in the mid 90s.

OceanFroggie Noel Griffin
Re: Did You Know
23 February, 2012 10:05
Apparently British & US naval vessels frequently deploy gps jammers in the Clyde area as part of exercises - I learned this *after* returning from a (incident-free) sailing holiday in the W of Scotland.

Of course hitting a rock because gps was jammed by "the authorities" wouldn't be a problem..

Just those pesky "unauthorised" jammers..

[MOD] Deleted for National Security reasons. [/MOD]

Yacht Breakaway

Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 23/02/2012 10:09 by John.Kinsella1.
Re: Did You Know
27 February, 2012 16:34
Sentinel project research reveals UK GPS jammer use
By Chris Vallance BBC News

The project was the work of a consortium which included Acpo and the National Physical Laboratories
The illegal use of Global Positioning System (GPS) jammers in the UK has been revealed in a groundbreaking study.
GPS jammers are believed to be mostly used by people driving vehicles fitted with tracking devices in order to mask their whereabouts.
In one location the Sentinel study recorded more than 60 GPS jamming incidents in six months.
The research follows concern that jammers could interfere with critical systems which rely on GPS.
The team behind the research believes it is the first study of its kind in the UK.
Its findings will be presented at the GNSS Vulnerability 2012: Present Danger, Future Threats conference held at the National Physical Laboratory on Wednesday.
Road watch
The Sentinel research project used 20 roadside monitors to detect jammer use.
“Start Quote The next step is to develop the system further so that it can be used for enforcement”
End Quote Bob Cockshott ICT Knowledge Transfer Network
"We think it's the only system of its kind in the world," Bob Cockshott of the ICT Knowledge Transfer Network and organiser of the conference told the BBC.
The sensors recorded every time a vehicle with a jammer passed by.
"We believe there's between 50 and 450 occurrences in the UK every day," said Charles Curry of Chronos Technology, the company leading the project, though he stressed that they were still analysing the data.
He told the BBC that evidence from the project suggested that most jammers were small portable devices with an area of effect of between 200m and 300m.
The project received £1.5m funding from the Technology Strategy Board and involved a number of partners including the Association of Chief Police Officers (ACPO).
Mr Curry said the research had also resulted in the detection and confiscation by the police of one jammer.
"We detected a pattern and they [the police] were able to go and sit and wait," he said.
Mr Curry said the research was also able to establish that jammers were responsible for interference experienced by Ordnance Survey equipment.
GPS jammers are widely available online, one reason Mr Cockshott believes the law around jammers needs tightening.
He thinks the Sentinel project should now work towards developing systems that will help catch those using jammers.
"The next step is to develop the system further so that it can be used for enforcement, so that you can detect a jammer in use and then relate it to the driver that's using it," he said.
Car headlight
Logistics and other companies often install GPS trackers so they can follow the movements of vehicles.
They are also used so vehicles carrying valuable loads can be tracked.
Researchers believe most GPS jammers are used to stop these devices working.
"A GPS satellite emits no more power than a car headlight, and with that it has to illuminate half the Earth's surface," Prof David Last, a past president of the Royal Institute of Navigation, told the BBC.
"A very, very low power jammer that broadcasts on the same radio frequency as the GPS will drown it out.
"Most of them are used by people who don't want their vehicles to be tracked," he said.
But the jamming technology can cause problems for other safety-critical systems using GPS.
In mobile phone and power networks GPS satellite signals are sometimes used as a source of accurate timing information.
GPS is even used to provide accurate time information for some computerised transactions in financial markets.
And other GPS navigation devices used by ships and light aircraft could also be affected by jammers.
In 2009 Newark airport in the US found some of its GPS based systems were suffering repeated interference.
The problem was eventually traced back to a truck driver using a GPS jammer.
Re: Did You Know
27 February, 2012 16:48
Did you know about Google? smiling smiley smiling smiley

OceanFroggie Noel Griffin
Re: Did You Know
27 February, 2012 17:02
No but I read the Times, I was expecting you spinning smiley sticking its tongue out
Re: Did You Know
27 February, 2012 17:29
No but I read the Times, I was expecting you spinning smiley sticking its tongue out
smileys with beer Me too

PS: Air transport uses locally augmented ground stations that correct gps signals to high precision, or if not correctable deny a GPS fix, thus preventing aircraft from using erronious fixes on approach and landing. Aircraft can use verified GPS signals and will ignore jammed or erronious signals (ie like digital TV, either perfect picture or no picture, nothing in between). Airnav also has traditional old navaids to fall back on in the event of an unlikely total GPS failure (eg. VOR/DME, ILS, and even ancient ADF).

The need for accuracy on an aircraft descending into a terminal area at 220kt in regular IMC is slightly different to the needs of a slow ship making a mere 15-20kt with radar as a backup.

OceanFroggie Noel Griffin
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