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GPS At Risk of Jamming… February 23, 2012

Posted by Chris Mark in InfoSec & Privacy, weapons and tactics.
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There is a good article on Foxnews about the risk of the GPS network.  Our GPS network is a series of satellites that are geosynchronous orbit about 12,000 above Earth.  Basically your GPS receiver receives a time code from three or more satellites and calculates the position by simple triangulation.  The civilian satellites are ‘open’ and require not authentication and have no encryption although the military GPS can use encryption.  According to Todd Humphries of the University of Texas: “The civil GPS signal’s completely open and vulnerable to a spoofing attack, because they have no authentication and no encryption,” … “It’s almost trivial to mimic those signals to imitate them and fool a GPS receiver into tracking your signals instead of the authentic ones.”  If you consider how prevalent GPS has become it could clearly be a target for terrorists or others with bad intentions.    In doing some basic research I found a number of GPS jammers on sale over the Internet for between $100US and $500US.  It should be noted that GPS jammers are illegal in the US.

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