Middle East

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Wide concern over GPS spoofing incidents, previously thought to be impossible, in Middle East,

October 16, 2023

OPSGroup reports: since first discovered, additional distinct spoofing scenarios have been reported by flight crews:

= A Gulfstream G650 experienced full nav failure on departure from LLBG/Tel Aviv (25 Oct). The crew reports, “ATC advised we were off course and provided vectors. Within a few minutes our EPU was 99.0, FMS, IRS, and GPS position were unreliable. The navigation system thought it was 225nm south of our present position.”
=A Bombardier Global Express was spoofed on departure from LLBG/Tel Aviv (16 Oct). A false GPS position showed position as overhead OLBA/Beirut. Crew advises “The controller warned us that we are flying towards a forbidden area”.
=A Boeing 777 experienced a 30 miute GPS spoofing encounter in the Cairo FIR (16 Oct). A false GPS position showed the aircraft as stationary overhead LLBG for 30 minutes.
=A Bombardier Global 7500 was spoofed 3 separate times in the Cairo FIR (16 Oct 2023). Crew advises: “The first took out one GPS, the second took out a GPS and all 3 IRS’s, and the third time took both GPS’s and all 3 IRS’s.” The distance from LLBG was roughly 220-250 miles, and the spoofing stopped once we were approx 250nm west of LLBG.
= An Embraer Legacy 650 enroute from Europe to Dubai. They tell us, “In Baghdad airspace, we lost both GPS in the aircraft and on both iPads. Further, the IRS didn’t work anymore. We only realized there was an issue because the autopilot started turning to the left and right, so it it was obvious that something was wrong. After couple of minutes we got error messages on our FMS regarding GPS, etc. So we had to request radar vectors. We were showing about 80 nm off track. During the event, we nearly entered Iran airspace (OIIX/Tehran FIR) with no clearance.
= A Bombardier Challenger 604 experienced spoofing in the Baghdad FIR and required vectors all the way to Doha. “Nearing north of Baghdad something happened where we must have been spoofed. We lost anything related to Nav and the IRS suggested we had drifted by 70-90 miles. We had a ground speed of zero and the aircraft calculated 250kts of wind. The FMS’s reverted to DR (Dead Reckoning) and had no idea where they were. We initially took vectors to get around the corner at SISIN. Nav capability was never restored, so we required vectors all the way from Iraq to Doha for an ILS. We never got our GPS sensors back until we fired up the plane and went back to home base two days later.

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Fake GPS Signals in Middle East lead Multiple Aircrafts Astray

November 24, 2023

GPS spoofing from an unknown source in the Iraq-Iran area is causing complete aircraft navigational system failures in some overflying airliners and business jets. GPS spoofing is “the surreptitious replacement of a true satellite signal that can cause a GPS receiver to output an erroneous position and time”

This novel type of GPS and IRS signal spoofing attack caused over 20 aircraft to suffer complete loss navigation capability over restricted airspace, and caused unintended divergences in flight paths, in the corridor between Iran and the UM686 airway in NW Iraq. As a result, one bizjet almost strayed into Iranian airspace without clearance. This jeopardized the safety of hundreds of lives. GNSS comms are unencrypted and were never expected or designed to cope with this threat.

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Olympus Hit by Ransomware Attack

September 8, 2021

Olympus is now investigating the ransomware attack, and the company said the incident occurred in the Europe, the Middle East, and Africa (EMEA) regions, and it happened September 8.

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30,000 Hard drives wiped by virus

January 1, 2013

Saudi Arabia’s national oil company, Aramco, said that a cyber attack damaged approximately, 30,000 computers. The attack was aimed at stopping oil and gas production in Saudi Arabia. The company shut down its main internal network for more than a week. The computer virus, Shamoon, spread through Amarco’s network and wiped computers’ hard drives clean. Fortunately, the damage was limited to office computers and didn’t affect control systems software that would impact technical operations.

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