Sep 2015 | No Comment

Chinese Unicorn team hacks GPS at DefCon

In a session at the DefCon security conference in Las Vegas Aug. 7, Lin Huang and Qing Yang, researchers with Qihoo 360’s elite Unicorn Team, revealed how they were able to successfully spoof GPS information.

“Our primary mission is to guarantee that Qihoo 360 [a Chinese Internet security company with more than 450 million users] is not vulnerable to any wireless attack,” Yang said about the Unicorn Team. “In other words, Qihoo360 protects its users and we protect Qihoo360.”

For civilian usage, GPS c/a (course/ acquisition) signals are used, which are typically unencrypted, Huang said. By making use of a Universal Software Defined Radio Platform (USRP), Huang said that a replay attack is possible. In a replay attack, a GPS signal is first recorded and then played back from another device to confirm that the same signal could be used.

Going a step further, Huang said she wanted to see if it was possible to actually create a fake GPS signal, instead of just replaying a signal. It turns out that’s also possible, as she showed a video where the location of a GPS device that was actually in Beijing was shown to be Las Vegas.

10th GPS IIF Satellite launched

On July 15, 2015, the U.S. Air Force and its mission partners successfully launched the 10th Boeing-built GPS IIF satellite aboard a United Launch Alliance Atlas V from Cape Canaveral Air Force Stations.

China to deploy Beidou navigation system to track flights

China will use Beidou system to track civilian flights, in an attempt to avoid mysterious disasters. The Civil Aviation Administration of China (CAAC) said the Beidou satellite navigation system (BDS) will be tested on general aviation first before it is used to monitor passenger or cargo flights. http://articles.

Updated GLONASS for Russian Defense Ministry by 2016

Russia’s GLONASS satellite navigation network, updated in compliance with the Russian Defense Ministry requirements, will be made available for use by the ministry by the end of 2015. The updated version of GLONASS will show significant changes in the system.

Nicaragua to host GLONASS Ground Stations

The stations are expected to become operational by July 2016. Initially, the work of the Glonass stations will be handled by Russian specialists and will then be gradually passed on to Nicaraguan workers as they finish their training. The stations will allow to gather satellite information 24 hours a day.

New BeiDou GNSS Satellites operational

China’s two most recently launched BeiDou navigation spacecraft have begun operating and established inter-satellite links in the nation’s GNSS constellation.

The two satellites were launched on July 25 by a Long March III-B rocket from the Xichang Satellite Launch Center in Sichuan Province, southwest China.

Russia May Introduce Glonass-Based Navigation System for Light Aircraft

Russia may introduce a system of automatic dependent surveillance for light aircraft on the basis of Russia’s Glonass satellite navigation network. The system be piloted in Moscow and the Moscow region as air traffic is heaviest in there.

Myanmar implements its first PBN procedures

Operators using Myanmar’s two busiest international airports, Mandalay and Yangon, can finally begin using Performance Based Navigation (PBN) practices after the country’s civil aviation authority approved and validated their first ever GPS-based procedures, which were badly needed in the country. Both airports have now unlocked the use of PBN, after flight validations were completed at the end of July through collaboration between experts from Hughes Aerospace and Honeywell.

FAA to change navigation codes named after Donald Trump

The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) said it would rename three navigational waypoints that are currently named after Republican presidential hopeful Donald Trump. FAA spokeswoman Laura Brown said the so-called “fixes” are used by pilots as waypoints to determine their position on a route. The three at issue are located near Palm Beach International Airport in Florida. It is not uncommon in the United States to name flight coordinates after celebrities.

ESA publishes a document detailing salvage of Galileo 5 and 6

Due to a misfire in the Fregat stage of a Soyuz launch vehicle, Galileo satellite numbers 5 and 6 were left in the wrong orbit and rendering them useless. Much work was done in the days following, communications established, the satellites were turned towards the sun and power from the solar panels restored. This ensured that the satellites were safe but it meant that they could not be used for navigation as intended.

Now the ESA have published a guide, written in layman’s terms, detailing their work and the subsequent orbit adjustments that have been made to enable both satellites to be used for navigation, albeit in a limited capacity.

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