GPS’ Vulnerability to Attacks Requires Major Investments

a woman navigating through a GPS appSome of the major risks for GPS networks include spoofing signals and jamming systems, which ultimately call for significant investments worth millions to address these vulnerabilities.

In the U.S., an upgrade to the eLoran model would require around $500 million. The amount may be quite expensive, although it still costs less than $547 million price tag on a latest GPS satellite model.

Model upgrades

The eLoran model emerged as an upgrade to the development of a GPS backup in 2004. The backup system, called Loran or long-range navigation, served as a potential solution to the vulnerabilities of GPS networks. A Resilient Navigation and Timing Foundation analysis showed that “accidental” jamming is among the top threats to GPS.

Terrorist groups’ use of jamming devices also poses dangerous consequences, including loss of lives and billions of dollars in damages. For this reason, the government should aim to set sufficient funding to upgrade eLoran to prevent network interference. Resilient Navigation and Timing Foundation President Dana Goward said that much is at stake from GPS signal disruptions.

Risky consequences

Whether or not it is unintentional, a disrupted GPS system leads to a slowdown in “every mode of transportation,” according to Goward. Companies may use other resources to test the stability of their networks, including a CRPA simulator.

As for the eLoran system, other countries have explored the idea of using it. South Korea, for instance, has already begun to establish three stations. Money still represents a major concern, as not all countries are not yet willing to fund a global network of transmitting stations, in case eLoran becomes the standard backup system.

GPS has definitely modernized many aspects of life from transportation to defense initiatives. However, the need for maintaining quality infrastructure still exists, due to the prevalence hacking and terrorist activities.