GPS Spoofing

GPS Spoofing

News: Recently, the Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) has issued an advisory circular on interference with the Global Navigation Satellite System (GNSS) in airspace, highlighting the threats of GNSS jamming and spoofing pose for aircraft operations.

What is GPS Spoofing?
• GPS spoofing is an attack in which a radio transmitter located near the target is used to interfere with legitimate GPS signals. The attacker can transmit no data at all, or could transmit inaccurate coordinates. This is often a form of cyberattack perpetrated by bad actors attempting to steer goods or people off course.
• GPS spoofing can be used to hijack UAVs and cars, or confuse taxi drivers, drones, and sailors.
• According to the European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA), GPS spoofing has risen since 2022 with increase in sophistication. For instance, GPS spoofing in aviation has mainly been seen in areas around conflict zones but is also prevalent in the south and eastern Mediterranean and Black Sea, Baltic Sea, and Arctic area.

What are the concerns for an aircraft?
• GPS spoofing can put the aircraft off its intended course and result in intrusion or collision.
• A GNSS interference can also result in false data for a plane’s fuel computation system, flight management system, and ground or wind speed information on the navigation display.

What are the steps taken by India?
• After forming a committee on GPS spoofing, the Indian civil aviation regulator issued an advisory to Indian airlines. It has provided a mechanism for air navigation service providers to establish a threat monitoring and analysis network in coordination with the regulator for preventive as well as reactive threat monitoring.

About GAGAN:
• GPS Aided GEO Augmented Navigation (GAGAN): It is a step by the Indian Government towards initial Satellite-based Navigation Services in India. It is a system to improve the accuracy of a GNSS receiver by providing reference signals.
• The Airports Authority of India (AAI) and Indian Space Research Organization (ISRO) have collaborated to develop the GAGAN as a regional Satellite Based Augmentation System.
• It seeks to provide a navigation system to assist aircraft in accurate landing over the Indian airspace and in the adjoining area and applicable to safety-to-life civil operations.

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