GPS Spoofing On the Rise

GPS spoofing is a form of cyber attack that involves manipulating GPS signals to provide false location and time information. This type of attack can have serious consequences, particularly when it comes to network synchronization and timing. 

GPS signals are widely used in many industries, including telecommunications, financial services, and transportation. In these industries, accurate timing and synchronization are critical to ensure the smooth functioning of systems and services. 

GPS signals are used to synchronize network clocks, which in turn helps to ensure that data is transmitted accurately and efficiently. Without accurate timing, network traffic can become congested and data can be lost, resulting in errors and delays.

However, GPS spoofing can disrupt the accuracy of GPS signals, leading to incorrect time and location data. This can cause network synchronization to fail, leading to errors and delays in data transmission. 

For example, a cyber attacker could spoof GPS signals to provide false time information to a financial institution’s trading system. This could cause the system to execute trades at the wrong time, leading to losses for the institution and its clients. 

Similarly, in the transportation industry, GPS spoofing could cause problems with the timing of trains, planes, and automobiles. A GPS spoofing attack on a train system, for instance, could cause trains to arrive at the wrong time or to collide with each other. 

To prevent GPS spoofing attacks, industries that rely on GPS signals for timing and synchronization must take steps to secure their systems. This can include using encryption to protect GPS signals, deploying anti-spoofing technologies, and using multiple sources of timing information to ensure redundancy. 

In conclusion, GPS spoofing can have serious consequences for network synchronization and timing, with potential impacts on industries such as telecommunications, finance, and transportation. To mitigate the risk of GPS spoofing attacks, it is important for organizations to take steps to secure their systems and use multiple sources of timing information.


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Denver Airport Spoofing Attack

Event Summary From the US Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA)

In January 2022, a GPS interference event occurred over a thirty-three (33) hour period in the vicinity of Denver International Airport due to a transmitter errantly broadcasting in the GPS frequency. Interference was
first detected by aircraft pilots and communicated to Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) Air Traffic Control Facilities. Due to the significant number of reports, the FAA issued a Notice to Air Missions warning of the GPS interference. Get the full CISA report.

Operators of systems from a wide range of critical infrastructure that rely on the GPS signal for uninterrupted PNT services also detected interference with (1) surface and rail traffic and (2) communications towers and
services using GPS timing signals. Ground-based industry users of GPS/PNT services and others reported GPS interference to the United States Coast Guard Navigation Center (NAVCEN) and the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) Public Safety and Homeland Security Bureau. Departments and agencies responsible for monitoring and coordinating response to GPS interference events
implemented the established national coordination process. The FCC Enforcement Bureau deployed, located, and coordinated shut down of the emitter. No accidents or injuries occurred because of the GPS interference incident. However, several critical infrastructure sectors were degraded. Many systems that detected the event had resilient alternate timing built in for backup or fail-over timing and experienced minor or no degradation of services.

An investigation of the interference positively identified an emitter unintentionally transmitting a signal within the GPS L1 frequency. Some receivers within a line of sight of the transmitter experienced GPS signal
disruption. The affected area on the ground covered approximately 50 nautical mile radius on the ground and spanned approximately 230 nautical miles in distance from the interfering transmitter at flight levels up to
approximately 36,000 feet.

About Syncworks

Syncworks is a value-added reseller of network sync and timing equipment for critical infrastructure companies. SyncCare and Field Services ensure your network equipment is flawlessly executed and supported. Our warehouse is stocked with new Microchip products, as well as Symmetricom, Datum, Telecom Solutions, and Microsemi brands.

Syncworks delivers the highest level of expertise to every project and offers a complete menu of network synchronization products and services. Our flagship product, the TimeProvider® 4100, is a gateway clock that accepts multiple inputs from Global Navigation Satellite Systems (GNSS), Synchronous Ethernet (SynE), and 1588 PTP Grandmaster Clock and E1/T1 digital transmission links.

As a Microchip Diamond Partner, we maintain the largest and most diversified stocking supply of Microchip network sync & timing products to meet our customers’ every need when it comes to sync and timing technology.

For more information, contact or call (904) 280-1234