Easter Jamming: 63 Hours of GPS Signal Attacks

GPS signal jamming increasing as Israel braces for retaliatory attack…

Hundreds of passenger jets were affected by an alleged Russian attack on GPS signals in the Baltic region earlier this week.  The attack, which started on Easter Sunday and lasted more than 63 hours, occurred as tensions are rising between NATO and Russia since the Ukraine invasion more than two years ago.

According to published reports, most of the GPS signal attacks took place in Polish airspace.  However, more than 1,600 commercial airliners operating in German, Danish, Latvian, Lithuanian and Swedish airspace have reported interference.

More than 1,600 commercial airliners reported GPS signal interference this week (Photo: File).

The increase of GPS jamming as an offensive and defensive military measure has experts concerned where the constellation stands compared to others.  “Our fact-finding has led us to the conclusion that, as miraculous as it is and despite a long history of upgrades, GPS has fallen behind,” said Jeffrey Shane, a member of the National Space-Based Positioning, Navigation and Timing Advisory Board, in a LinkedIn post.  “Moreover, despite 20 years of White House directives, the U.S. still has no back up system.  Given the vulnerability of GPS to interference, the implications for national security are serious.”

Jamming GPS signals is being used as a defensive strategy by Israel as it braces for a retaliatory attack from Iran, or its surrogates, after an attack this week that killed 13 people, including a high-ranking Iranian military officer.  GPS is being block across entire areas of Israel to disrupt missiles, bombs and drones, according to published reports.

The website that monitors GPS jamming, appropriately named GPSJAMshowed massive amounts of interference across Israel.  The country’s northern border with Lebanon already has GPS jamming in place.

“Interesting that the spoofing seems to be moving users to the airports in Beirut and Cairo.  This is reminiscent of spoofing often reported in Moscow and other locations inside Russia,” said Dana GowardResilient Navigation and Timing Foundation president, in a LinkedIn post.   “It is particularly effective against drones, many of which have been programmed at the factory to avoid airports.”


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