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Global Positioning System (GPS) satellites now vulnerable to counterfeit signals

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The U.S. Air Force said it is working to resolve a technical error that is affecting IIF satellites built by Boeing. It went on to say that the issue came to light in recent days, but a close examination of archived data showed the problem had gone unnoticed since 2013. It said the glitch appeared related to the ground software that builds and uploads messages transmitted by GPS satellites, resulting in an occasional message failing to meet U.S. “technical specifications”. Analysis by some experts believe that the “technical specifications” referred to ground based data transfers to the GPS Satellite’s anti-spoofing module. These data transfers continuously analyzes the input IF data stream to detect spoofing signatures. Simply put, if the technical specifications have been corrupted, IIF GPS satellites are no longer able to detect spoofing signatures. This opens up the opportunity for an aggressor to upload bogus data. Since the U.S. Air Force relies so heavily on GPS signals to place bombs on target and fly unmanned drones, this presents a serious concern.



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