GPS spoofing occurs when an attacker transmits a fake GPS signal that can alter the position or time reported by a victim GPS receiver. The GPS constellation, as well as the other GNSS constellations (Galileo, GLONASS, etc.) are highly susceptible to spoofing using readily available simulator technology. Spoofing (unlike jamming) is extremely difficult to detect; even so, numerous publicized cases of spoofing have been reported.
If we examine hacking incidents over the last few decades, we find countless examples of advanced attacks on obscure vulnerabilities. The GPS signal is indeed sophisticated; however, it is also well documented (the ICDs are publicly available) and tools to spoof GPS are becoming commonplace. Security through obscurity arguably has its place; however, the vulnerabilities of GPS are no longer obscure.
Most market solutions rely on one or more of the following methods to detect spoofing:
- Analysis of the navigation message
- Multi-GNSS (GPS + Galileo + GLONASS) redundancy
- Multi-frequency (L1/L2/L5) redundancy
- Alternate time sources (NTP, PTP, Radio, IRIG, etc.)
While these methods are all useful, none of them provide adequate protection for critical infrastructure. Our patented angle of arrival technique cannot be spoofed. Additionally, since the angle of arrival to each threat is provided, the Northstar gives you situational awareness about your GPS environment.
The Northstar can be configured to send an alert via email (or other custom interface) to alert you of the attack and provide you the angle of arrival (line of bearing) to the threat. For timing receiver protection, the Northstar can additionally provide a signal to disconnect your timing receiver from its antenna, thereby forcing it into holdover mode.
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