Use of Radio to Return for Ship Navigation as Cyber Treats Target Ships’ Satellite Navigation
Cyber-attacks on the satellite navigation of ships have grown rapidly in recent times. The risk of such attacks on the ships is prompting countries to research about the history and generate back-up systems having its roots from the radio technology used in World War Two, a source close to the matter stated on August 7, 2017. Ships make use of global positioning systems (GPS) and some other parallel devices relying on receiving and sending signals, which according to the experts are prone to hacking or jamming by cyber hackers. Roughly ninety percent of world trade transportation is done via the sea route and the stakes always stay high in progressively crowded lanes for shipping.
Unlike aircrafts and airplanes, ships do not have a back-up navigation system. In case their GPS fails to function appropriately or ceases, they face higher risk of collision with other vessels or can run aground. South Korea is in process of creating a substitute system that uses an earth-based technology for navigation. The system is called eLoran. The United States plans to follow the same process in near future. In addition, Russia and Britain are also exploring the possibility of adopting different versions of this technology that can work on radio signals.
The drive tracked strings of interruptions happened to the shipping navigation systems in the past few months and year. It did not clearly indicate whether there was any involvement of deliberate cyber-attacks. Specialists in the navigation field state that solar weather effects can probably be the reason for the loss of satellite signals. Contradicting this statement, South Korea mentioned that last year, several fishing vessels returned before time to the port due to jamming of their GPS signals by hackers that were from North Korea, but denied the accountability.
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