According to the National Risk Estimate: Risks to U.S. Critical Infrastructure from Global Positioning System Disruptions
report prepared back in 2011, the widespread and growing use of GPS, coupled with threat actors possessing technologies that can disrupt GPS now and in the future, pose a long term threat that cannot be ignored. Since that report was issued, the threat to GPS civilian and military systems has grown considerably.
“We’re doing things with GPS that were never imagined when it was put in place over 20 years ago,” says Peter Soar, business development manager of Military & Defense at NovAtel. “GPS is an integral part of high speed financial trading services, bank transaction time stamps, transportation system schedules, and of course, nearly every military system.”
The pervasiveness of GPS has led to some unforeseen vulnerabilities. “We have discovered several instances where customers are unaware that they have GPS embedded in the tools they use to perform certain functions on the job. Civil and military organizations, in particular, must account for vulnerabilities due to the pervasiveness of GPS aided
applications” Soar said.
For civil and military organizations in the U.S. and other countries, the questions that must be answered are: Can my GNSS receiver be jammed or spoofed, and is there an affordable solution to prevent such attacks? Until recently, size and cost considerations meant GPS anti-jam systems were only feasible for expensive assets, such as strategic aircraft and large ships. That’s begun to change. As the potential for jamming signals has risen along with the number of at risk systems, anti-jamming technology has also begun to evolve in both affordability and capability.