Black Sea GPS Spoofing & Russia

GPS isn’t perfect; it it often off on the order of 1-10 meters, but it is almost never off by 25 miles. According to Gurvan Le Meur, the captain of a tanker traveling on the Black Sea in June this year, his GPS reported that the ship was located 25-30 miles from where it actually way. Furthermore–and perhaps most startling–the GPS was absolutely sure that it was at this new location. 

After restarting the equipment, the GPS was still incorrectly reporting the ship’s position. It seemed not to be a device fault, rather a directed spoofing attack. The evidence indicates that the attack came from Russia, as the ships reported their locations around the Russian Gelendzhik airport.

This isn’t the first time that spoofing has been detected in correspondence with Russia. GPS spoofing has reportedly occurred around the Kremlin, affecting cell phones and GPS-based navigation. This was particularly impactful on Yandex Taxi, a taxi service in Russia that relies on GPS to navigate around Moscow.

Read the full article featuring Dr. Humphreys.