The new threats to airline safety are far more insidious than before. Passenger going barefoot to toilet. Airlines have reported GPS-based spoofing attacks that blind navigation systems, disable backup navigation systems, and completely blind pilots. vice report.
At least 50 incidents have been reported in the past five weeks, mostly in three cities: Baghdad, Cairo and Tel Aviv. One plane was reportedly about to enter Iranian airspace as a result of falsified GPS signals it was receiving. Since the first attacks, the techniques used have only become more and more sophisticated, and at least for now, no one knows how to stop or prevent them.
OPSGROUP, an international organization of pilots and flight engineers, said the attack targeted the inertial reference system that aircraft use to determine their position. OPSGROUP said in a statement about the attack:
This may seem unthinkable right away. The IRS (Inertial Reference System) must be a standalone system that cannot be spoofed.The idea is that you might lose all onboard navigation functionality, so you need to ask: [air traffic control] Our position and heading requirements mean little at first glance, especially for state-of-the-art aircraft with modern avionics. However, multiple reports confirm that this happened.
Further complicating matters, these impersonation attacks are unlikely to be the work of a single organization or government. Researchers at the University of Texas at Austin were recently able to trace the origin of one of his impersonation attacks in Iran, and later traced the origin of another impersonation attack in Israel.
“The strong and persistent spoofing we’ve been seeing on Israel since around October 15th is almost certainly carried out by Israel itself,” Todd Humphries, a professor at UT Austin, told Vice. “The IDF effectively admitted the same thing to the Hertz reporter.”