How to spoof GPS to (potentially) take over a drone

Hackaday found a paper that describes a GPS spoofing technique that may be similar to that used by Iran to bring down a US drone. From the paper's abstract:

In this paper, we investigate the requirements for successful GPS spoofing
attacks on individuals and groups of victims with civilian or military
GPS receivers. In particular, we are interested in identifying
from which locations and with which precision the attacker needs
to generate its signals in order to successfully spoof the receivers.
We will show, for example, that any number of receivers can
easily be spoofed to one arbitrary location; however, the attacker is
restricted to only few transmission locations when spoofing a group
of receivers while preserving their constellation.
In addition, we investigate the practical aspects of a satellitelock
takeover, in which a victim receives spoofed signals after first
being locked on to legitimate GPS signals. Using a civilian GPS
signal generator, we perform a set of experiments and find the minimal
precision of the attacker’s spoofing signals required for covert
satellite-lock takeover.

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Comment by Greg Fletcher on July 1, 2012 at 2:27pm

You really think the Iranians spoofed out drone into landing hundreds of miles from where it was supposed to be?  I would hope Lockheed -Martin engineers would have thought of spoofing detection. If your nav solution using dead reckoning with air and imu data doesn't agree with the GPS data, then return home on dead reckoning imu data until your out of range of the jammer/spoofers. Before returning, fire a couple of HARM missiles set to home in on the jammers signal. If you hit them then your GPS works again. It's drone self defense.

I think the RQ170 was on a sigint mission when it had an engine failure. Maybe a clogged fuel filter or something and it just flew as far as it could, and some one just found it.

Comment by Jack Crossfire on July 1, 2012 at 2:46pm

All these spoofing experiments still seem like a waste of energy, since the military signals are encrypted.

Comment by MarcS on July 1, 2012 at 3:12pm

And if you read through the paper you will see that it is a huge effort to accomplish a "simple" takeover and if the "victim" uses two or more receivers the effort grows to a point where spoofing becomes unrealistic, especially when thinking about UAV...

So technically speaking if you are concerned about spoofing (and you are not the military using L2), install two or more receivers and fitting detection software... Who will tell this boring message to the news?

So its more of a problem for other GPS application in my point of view..

Comment by Garry Qualls on July 1, 2012 at 7:48pm

Since GPS signals are so weak, couldn't you just take the output of a commercial GPS simulator (another brand) and transmit its output, at high power, directly at the vehicle you are trying to take over?  It seems like you could push the real signals down into the "noise" of their signal-to-noise ratio, assuming you could transmit the signal with enough fidelity.  

GPS simulators are so nice, these days, they can simulate the constellations at any time and include all kinds of signal distortions that realistically mimic atmospheric effects, multi-path reflections in an urban environment, missing satellites, etc.  GPS receiver manufacturers use these simulators to test their products in all sorts of exotic situations without having to travel all over the world and wait for the satellites to line up in a particular way while there is heavy rain and a tall building on your left...

Comment by lebor on July 27, 2017 at 5:12am

@greg fletcher ...... i disagree in firing a HARM missiles against the spoofers (jammers) .... its their land .... if a man came to ur house to steal and u caught him, is it right for him to kill u just coz u caught him??????

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