Ship Collisions: GPS Spoofing?

by SP

I don’t have engineering background or sufficient interest to chase down this topic.  Any of the rest of you have ideas?  Having “the boss” of the Pacific Fleet commit a traditional seppuku seems a little stilted.

1.  An article from New Scientist on GPS spoofing of ships

On 22 June, the US Maritime Administration filed a seemingly bland incident report. The master of a ship off the Russian port of Novorossiysk had discovered his GPS put him in the wrong spot – more than 32 kilometres inland, at Gelendzhik Airport.

After checking the navigation equipment was working properly, the captain contacted other nearby ships. Their AIS traces – signals from the automatic identification system used to track vessels – placed them all at the same airport. At least 20 ships were affected.

While the incident is not yet confirmed, experts think this is the first documented use of GPS misdirection – a spoofing attack that has long been warned of but never been seen in the wild.

2.   Georgiabelle comments at ZH

Article Continues Below

There are articles out there claiming that this collision, as well as three other PACCOM ship “mishaps”, were caused by GPS spoofing. There is also a rumor out there that this is why Professor Salil Mehtahad all his accounts shut down by Google, (and here) with no explanation or apparent cause. Professor Mehta had said he was going to do a statistical analysis of the probability of 4 PACCOM warships, the USS John S. McCain, the USS Antietam, USS Lake Champlain, and the USS Fitzgerald, all colliding with merchant vessels or running aground…since January 31, 2017. Shortly after he posted the comment all his accounts were suspended.

3.  More from Georgiabelle:

The GPS on both the US ship and the merchant vessel are taken over and “spoofed” so that both ships’ instruments indicate that the other ship is taking corrective measures, when in fact they are not. The AIS marine tracking log of the Alnic MC, the merchant vessel that rammed the  USS John S. McCain, shows bizarre maneuvers and sudden course changes. The same is true of the tracking logs for the MV ACX Crystal, the vessel that collided with the USS Fitzgerald in June. Further, on June 22 the United States Maritime Administration (MARAD) issued a warning titled “2017-005A-GPS Interference-Black Sea” that stated: “A maritime incident has been reported in the Black Sea in the vicinity of position 44-15.7N, 037-32.9E on June 22, 2017 at 0710 GMT. This incident has not been confirmed. The nature of the incident is reported as GPS interference. Exercise caution when transiting this area. Further updates may follow.”


Follow IWB on Facebook and Twitter