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Russian Military Accused of Manipulating GPS of NATO Military Units

During a recent NATO exercise named Trident Juncture, which took place in Norway, it was found that Russian forces were jamming GPS being utilized by participants.  According to the Norwegian Defense Minister, Russian forces were broadcasting jamming signals from the Kola Peninsula on at least 2 occasions during the training exercise.  These claims were corroborated by Finland, who also participated in the training, when they announced that they had observed their GPS signals being tampered with.  The GPS tampering in the northern Lapland area was so intense that Finland’s Air Navigation Service issued a warning to civilian air traffic.  Similar concerns came to light last year when several U.S. Naval vessels suffered collisions south of China and Near Japan, and when several merchant vessels made claims of navigational difficulties in the Black Sea.  While right now the focus has been on the threat of nation state hackers tampering with GPS in an attempt to cause military disruptions, the criminal implications should not be overlooked as well.  If the ability to remotely change GPS signals to be obtained and utilized by criminal organizations, it could have significant impacts on economies around the world as well as being potentially devastating to private businesses.  Criminals and hackers could send fraudulent GPS signals to target ships, trucks, and other commerce vehicles and send them off course to make it easier to hijack loads of goods and cargo.  Were it to be used against air craft it could potentially be used to hold planes full of people for ransom in the air or divert them off course to a completely different landing site where civilians could be held for ransom or cargo could be stolen.