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

January 30, 2024

INCIDENT

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.

Incident Date

October 16, 2023

Estimated Cost


No cost values disclosed.

Type of Malware

No Malware identified

Threat Source

No threat source identified