Russians Use GPS Spoofing to Hide Information About Ships Near Russian And Occupied Ports

Posted on

Ships near the Kerch Strait or the port of Novorossiysk can be made to appear in completely unexpected places, such as airports, in vessel-traffic monitoring systems.

To hide the actual number of ships entering Russian ports on the Black Sea and the Sea of Azov or involved in the export of stolen Ukrainian products, the Russians are resorting to GPS spoofing, which involves the manipulation of signals from automatic identification systems (AIS).

Andrii Klymenko, the head of the monitoring team at the Black Sea Strategic Studies Institute, discussed such cases, the CFTS portal reports.

In early March, Klymenko commented on the alleged decrease in the number of ships in the area of the Kerch Strait. The expert refuted this claim, noting that ship traffic is active there, but the shore-based receivers of AIS signals from ships in the Kerch Strait have been switched off for almost two years. In addition, according to him, Russian electronic warfare systems are operating there to suppress these signals.

“GPS spoofing, which distorts the position of ships, is also actively used there. It is easy for experts to see that, for example, a large group of ships passing through the Kerch Strait are displayed in maritime systems as being located right at... the Sheremetyevo airport in Moscow,” Klymenko wrote.

At the end of March, Klymenko described a similar situation regarding the port of Novorossiysk on the Black Sea. “Today, you will not see a maritime system showing a single tanker near Novorossiysk, Russia’s largest port for crude-oil exports. The pictures show where they actually are: well, of course, at the airport, only it is the airport of the occupied Simferopol,” the expert said, providing the relevant images.

As reported previously, the Russians are turning off the automatic identification systems on some of their ships so that they can export looted goods and illegally use the Ukrainian ports that are officially closed. “To plunder the occupied territories and ship metal, grain, etc. from there, the Russians are switching off the identification systems on some of their ships, and they are simply not visible at sea. Is this being documented? Yes, of course,” said a spokesperson for the Ukrainian Navy.