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North Korea Jamming GPS Signals In South Korea

samzenpus posted about 2 years ago | from the no-directions-for-you dept.

Security 290

Fluffeh writes "North Korea has been looking for new and inventive ways to mess with South Korea. It seems that their missile launch fizzled a bit though, so those wacky folks from the North have bought a few GPS jamming trucks from Russia and are now blocking GPS signals around their city of Kaeson. While Kaeson is around 60 Km inside their borders, the jamming circle is around 100 Km, so it actually covers good parts of South Korea including the airports at Inchon and Gimpo. While no accidents have been caused as yet, it has caused quite some disruption and has made ocean going craft suffer as well due to their heavy reliance on GPS signals."

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290 comments

Legality? (4, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#39951831)

Noob question here: apart maybe from frequency allocation, is there an international law or equivalent regulation on signal jamming?

Re:Legality? (5, Funny)

korgitser (1809018) | about 2 years ago | (#39951881)

Well I have no idea about such a law, but if you find a way to make North Korea actually follow an international law, pleas let the world know ASAP.

Re:Legality? (4, Insightful)

Opportunist (166417) | about 2 years ago | (#39951951)

There is a way. But a law of war is that you should not use weapons that cost more than what you destroy with them.

Re:Legality? (4, Funny)

JazzHarper (745403) | about 2 years ago | (#39951963)

There is a way. But a law of war is that you should not use weapons that cost more than what you destroy with them.

That's not really a law, it's more of a guideline.

Re:Legality? (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#39951997)

No, that is the pirates code...

Re:Legality? (2)

neyla (2455118) | about 2 years ago | (#39951995)

That only applies if you're unwilling or unable to outspend your opponent.

The US military has certainly used weapons that cost a lot more than whatever they've destroyed in Afghanistan, and that's fine, if they are both able and willing to spend ten times or hundred times what the opposition is spending.

Re:Legality? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#39952003)

Yes, but it's hard to find a weapon cheaper snot-missiles, to take on all of N. Korea.

Re:Legality? (5, Informative)

chrb (1083577) | about 2 years ago | (#39952225)

if you find a way to make North Korea actually follow an international law, pleas let the world know ASAP.

International law does not prohibit a nation state from building nuclear weapons, missiles etc., nor does it regulate what form of government nation states should have. They may be guilty of crimes against humanity, [wikipedia.org] but for their actions to fall into that class, it would have to be shown that the actions were the result of a systematic policy of murder, genocide, torture etc. rather than these being individual acts. Some lawyers have made the case that North Korea has a policy of genocide [livesiteadmin.com] and infanticide, [harvard.edu] both of which would qualify. On the other hand, people have made similar allegations of forced abortion and infanticide against the government of China, and yet very few have argued that constitutes a crime against humanity.

Re:Legality? (2)

Theophany (2519296) | about 2 years ago | (#39952261)

I hate to be that guy, but China are too valuable to us all to waste their precious importing time and money on accusing them of crimes against humanity.

Re:Legality? (4, Interesting)

d3ac0n (715594) | about 2 years ago | (#39952409)

Well, that guy or not, you are (sadly) correct. China has far too much economic influence in the world for any nation (even my much beloved USA) to stand up to them.

The Norks, on the other hand, hold no such distinction. The only reason they haven't been stomped into the ground yet is both their proximity to China (China doesn't want a war in it's back yard and all the Nork refugees that would come with it) and the fact that they really are that unimportant in the world.

Of course, should they actually get a viable nuke missile program off the ground AND the USA gets a president with some backbone (Unlike the current "teleprompter-in-chief") then something might be done about it. Maybe. At the rate China is divesting itself of US Bonds, the US won't owe them much debt fairly soon, and will be more free to act.

The next several years should be "interesting" to say the least.

Re:Legality? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#39952701)

You do realize that this president DID invade Iraq after the deadline passed. He DID give the "go ahead" to kill Bin laden despite such operations not always going as planned and costing the person who ok-ed them political capital, right?

Or are you just bashing him 'cause you don't agree with his policies? I mean, I too want real national health care and a wallstreet crackdown, but I'll settle for a president who DOES take shit further than a strongly worded letter.

Re:Legality? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#39952637)

Will do, I'm still working on ways that may work to make the US and Israel follow international law so it may be some time comming.

Re:Legality? (1)

RicktheBrick (588466) | about 2 years ago | (#39952669)

North Korea is nothing more than a proxy and a test facility for both the Russian and the Chinese. If the North Korean ever do launch a nuclear strike, it will be ordered by either the Chinese or the Russian. I am sure the Russian did not gain too much profit by selling those jamming devices to the North Koreans so one can only conclude they are allowing the North Koreans to test them. Lets put the blame where it really lies.

Re:Legality? (5, Insightful)

Ogi_UnixNut (916982) | about 2 years ago | (#39951895)

International law only works if backed up by threats of punishment if you don't comply. It works well for bullying small non-nuclear nations. When you have a huge army, nukes, and an appearance of "just crazy enough to push the red button" nobody will stop you from being a pest.

International law does not seem to apply to any state powerful enough (i.e. nuclear armed, and/or large conventional forces), as proved many times by the US (and probably others, but I can't think of any examples off the top of my head), and they are considered rational actors that will only use nukes as a last resort.

Hell, NK has shelled islands belonging to the South, and is believed to have been behind the sinking of a South Korean Navy Vessel. Lives have been lost due to this, both of which constitute acts of war, yet nobody responded.

I think jamming GPS is rather low on the "pest" scale, so I don't think anything major will be done about it (regardless of whether there is a law on the books against it).

Anarchy (1)

srussia (884021) | about 2 years ago | (#39952125)

International law does not seem to apply to any state powerful enough

Quite right, but it is simpler to think of this situation as sovereign countries being in a state of anarchy vis-a-vis each other.

Re:Legality? (5, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#39952195)

International law only works if backed up by threats of punishment if you don't comply.

And this is why American foreign politics are not taken seriously.

Let's not be naive here. NK is a bandit state that follows and discards laws and regulations on a whim and in a seemingly irrational manner to an outside observer. Still, smaller countries (Scandinavian countries for example) have seen great successes in frequency allocation agreements through such organizations such as HFCC against a number of larger countries. I remember the Norwegian delegation some years ago negotiating away -China- from a critical allocation they both needed. This was done through careful diplomacy, some clever alternative arrangements and generally both parties being interested in a solution even if they were miles apart on the issue to begin with. The next year, they did it again, this time fending off Russia. Anyone suggesting that Norway has anything to threaten Russia and China with is an armchair general not to be taken seriously.

Whether the same could be arranged with NK... I remain sceptical but to dismiss it off-hand is foolish. You seem to have a very ingrained mental image of NK being the very soul of evil and the US being the shining city on the hill, never acting in bad faith. This image is incorrect on both accounts.

Personally, I'd think an invitation into HFCC and serious negotiation from equal parties is the best option likely to succeed. If not, and NK would be bluffing, THEN you would be in the situation where other options could be considered.

tl;dr - You're too gung-ho. There ARE institutions to handle this sort of thing. I've served on several and we've done some very good and difficult work deemed "impossible" by the US State Dept. because they only really have a hammer and not every problem is a nail.

Re:Legality? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#39952621)

And this is why the U.N. is not taken seriously.

FTFY. You must've already forgotten about Afghanistan and Iraq.

Re:Legality? (3, Interesting)

yacc143 (975862) | about 2 years ago | (#39952265)

Well, technically they are at war, just in a very long cease-fire.

And yes, while there might have been cases where other countries have done bad stuff, no questions, the US have the problem of being seen as a hypocrite.

"The land of the Free", "The Good Guys", ... => well, in many cases it would be helpful if they could pin labels in big high contrast letters on the Americans on site "WE ARE THE GOOD GUYS. REALLY.".

The problem is that especially in the last decade, it has often become hard to find the goodness that the PR is still claiming.

Examples would include:

-) drone killings in foreign countries => collateral damage is accepted, and that does not even ask the question if the US administration can decide on it's own that they want someone dead, without a court, ... => how's that much different from a terrorist that want's to kill one person inside and bombs the whole house?

-) arrests without warrants, without the option to legal representation, => everything there in the PATRIOT act.

-) US agents wanted by international arrest warrants by supposedly friendly countries => yeah, sometimes the criminal (as the local law defines) energy of CIA agents can lead to embarrassing situations. (So if the local law does not apply, why do you expect Islamist terrorists to obey local US laws?)

-) Generally speaking, the US constitution has been turned into an optional guideline.

-) Ah, one last thing, the Supreme Court demands that capital punishment is handed down by objective criteria. Wonder how many service man have been sentenced to DR that commited multiple murders on the local population. Happened many times, and these guys usually get just a slap on the hand.

Re:Legality? (3, Interesting)

Ash Vince (602485) | about 2 years ago | (#39952617)

Ah, one last thing, the Supreme Court demands that capital punishment is handed down by objective criteria. Wonder how many service man have been sentenced to DR that commited multiple murders on the local population. Happened many times, and these guys usually get just a slap on the hand.

What's even more relevant is that these service men or women should often be tried and sentenced in the country where the crime is committed. Especially in cases where the US has an extradition treaty with the country in question and would,expect to be able to extradite any criminals it wanted to stand trial in the US. The US policy seems to be though that their own law usurps any other countries (recently it seems to usurp the US constitution so that should not be too surprising).

This is a fine attitude to take if you intend to impose it by force, but it completely fails to let you take any sort of moral high ground. This does not help win any hearts and minds of the local populace so has a habit of encouraging terrorism amongst them, especially if there is mass unemployment and people feel like they have nothing better to do than blow themselves up anyway.

Re:Legality? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#39952641)

"Hell, NK has shelled islands belonging to the South, and is believed to have been behind the sinking of a South Korean Navy Vessel. Lives have been lost due to this, both of which constitute acts of war, yet nobody responded."

You tend to expect that when you are still at war. The Korean War never finished, there's just been a series of ceasefires.

When your dealing with the irrational (1)

Shivetya (243324) | about 2 years ago | (#39951909)

do you think that treaties mean anything to them? Rules are simply something they use to assert control over the actions of others when needed, they do not apply such limits and rules to themselves.

If anything they would use it as leverage to gain something. After all they have their threat pretty well displayed. It is not ever loon that backs their insanity with a large army possibly armed with both chemical and nuclear weapons.

If anything expresses the danger of certain middle eastern countries obtaining nuclear weapons it is North Korea. North Korea simply proves what everyone knows but likes to pretend otherwise, when the irrational have weapons of mass destruction you can never be sure.

Re:Legality? (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#39951999)

As a shortwave listener I can confirm that there are a lot of N.Korean jammers active. Often without a trace of the actual signal they are blocking. Same for China/Iran/Cuba and a couple of other countries I'm probably forgetting.

Re:Legality? (1)

flyneye (84093) | about 2 years ago | (#39952277)

Just wait for the S. Korea signal blackout satellite to start hanging out over N. Korea. No fOOking T.V. ,Radio, Wifi, no damn nothing.
Just watch. Back to beating logs and smoke signals for teenage mutant dictator turtles.

Jam NK?? But in NK even the *radio* is wired! (4, Informative)

Herve5 (879674) | about 2 years ago | (#39952665)

Yes, NK state radio is delivered to each home by wire. And each home has a "radio" set which of course is geared to only connect to this wire, and does not receive any RF signal indeed. In NK not only you aren't supposed to listed other countries' radios, but you technically can't.

And incidentally, this "wire radio" is by design unjammable...

Re:Legality? (2)

Mike Hock (249988) | about 2 years ago | (#39952411)

Remember,
NORTH KOREA is BEST KOREA.
they do not submit to the laws of the world... they are above them.

Re:Legality? (4, Insightful)

AmiMoJo (196126) | about 2 years ago | (#39952469)

They are probably jamming GPS to make it harder for US drones to fly over them. There is probably an argument for defensive action to be made there.

Re:Legality? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#39952661)

Just think about all the GPS guided weapons available and combine that with the suspicion NK must be feeling. It all makes sense trivially.

Re:Legality? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#39952653)

International Laws rarely apply during wartime. the DPRK is still technically at war with the RoK and the USA

Cyber Warfare (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#39951833)

Wouldn't this fall under most countries definition of cyber warfare? Then again, South Korea seems to ignore actual warfare/violent aggression from North Korea so I doubt it would make a difference either way.

Re:Cyber Warfare (5, Insightful)

rhook (943951) | about 2 years ago | (#39951887)

The Korean War never ended.

Re:Cyber Warfare (1)

coastwalker (307620) | about 2 years ago | (#39952407)

So the logical thing to do is send a jamming signal missile straight down the emissions to blow up the trucks. Isnt it time we ran out of patience with North Korea?

Re:Cyber Warfare (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#39952449)

Isnt it time we ran out of patience with North Korea?

No.

Re:Cyber Warfare (1)

Chrisq (894406) | about 2 years ago | (#39951891)

Wouldn't this fall under most countries definition of cyber warfare?

My guess is that since the USA says it may jam or stop the civilian codes if necessary, jamming is not against international law if they can give some sort of excuse for it being defensive. The way these things go, even if it was a really pathetic excuse it would be enough to stop international courts bringing charges. Of course even if they did, the reaction is unlikely to be like that of the USA or other Western countries - hand wringing and either campaigning for the law to change or stopping the practice - they would probably just say "so what".

Re:Cyber Warfare (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#39951917)

And in that case, the excuse is quite easy: "our enemy might have wanted to fly GPS-enabled drones over our heads"

Re:Cyber Warfare (0, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#39951945)

the USA does not care for international laws, unless they created them themselves...

Re:Cyber Warfare (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#39952023)

the USA does not care for international laws, unless they created them themselves...

Not even then.

Re:Cyber Warfare (5, Informative)

rhook (943951) | about 2 years ago | (#39952025)

The US does not jam GPS signals, you're thinking of Selective Availiability which is currently disabled.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Selective_Availability#Selective_availability [wikipedia.org]

GPS includes a (currently disabled) feature called Selective Availability (SA) that adds intentional, time varying errors of up to 100 meters (328 ft) to the publicly available navigation signals. This was intended to deny an enemy the use of civilian GPS receivers for precision weapon guidance.
SA errors are actually pseudorandom, generated by a cryptographic algorithm from a classified seed key available only to authorized users (the U.S. military, its allies and a few other users, mostly government) with a special military GPS receiver. Mere possession of the receiver is insufficient; it still needs the tightly controlled daily key.
Before it was turned off on May 2, 2000, typical SA errors were about 50 m (164 ft) horizontally and about 100 m (328 ft) vertically.[5] Because SA affects every GPS receiver in a given area almost equally, a fixed station with an accurately known position can measure the SA error values and transmit them to the local GPS receivers so they may correct their position fixes. This is called Differential GPS or DGPS. DGPS also corrects for several other important sources of GPS errors, particularly ionospheric delay, so it continues to be widely used even though SA has been turned off. The ineffectiveness of SA in the face of widely available DGPS was a common argument for turning off SA, and this was finally done by order of President Clinton in 2000.

Re:Cyber Warfare (2, Interesting)

Lumpy (12016) | about 2 years ago | (#39952051)

". Mere possession of the receiver is insufficient; it still needs the tightly controlled daily key."

This is incorrect.

You can fix the Dilution errors by using DGPS. 2-3 cheap GPS recievers in an area can create a correction signal to give you back the accuracy. Did it daily in the 90's when I worked with the new fangled GPS based survey equipment. Plop down 2 tripods with GPS recievers and you go winder with your third. if you are inside the area your two error receivers are set you have a 1cm accuracy, outside them but within radio range and you have 10cm.

You can easily make your own DGPS setup for a few hundred bucks and some used GPS units.

Re:Cyber Warfare (1)

L4t3r4lu5 (1216702) | about 2 years ago | (#39952281)

You can fix the Dilution errors by using DGPS. 2-3 cheap GPS recievers in an area can create a correction signal to give you back the accuracy. Did it daily in the 90's when I worked with the new fangled GPS based survey equipment. Plop down 2 tripods with GPS recievers and you go winder with your third. if you are inside the area your two error receivers are set you have a 1cm accuracy, outside them but within radio range and you have 10cm.

Because SA affects every GPS receiver in a given area almost equally, a fixed station with an accurately known position can measure the SA error values and transmit them to the local GPS receivers so they may correct their position fixes. This is called Differential GPS or DGPS. DGPS also corrects for several other important sources of GPS errors, particularly ionospheric delay, so it continues to be widely used even though SA has been turned off. The ineffectiveness of SA in the face of widely available DGPS was a common argument for turning off SA, and this was finally done by order of President Clinton in 2000.

Herp the derps?

Re:Cyber Warfare (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#39952285)

Quote from GP:
". Mere possession of the receiver is insufficient; it still needs the tightly controlled daily key."
"Because SA affects every GPS receiver in a given area almost equally, a fixed station with an accurately known position can measure the SA error values and transmit them to the local GPS receivers so they may correct their position fixes. This is called Differential GPS or DGPS. DGPS also corrects for several other important sources of GPS errors, particularly ionospheric delay, so it continues to be widely used even though SA has been turned off. The ineffectiveness of SA in the face of widely available DGPS was a common argument for turning off SA, and this was finally done by order of President Clinton in 2000."

Quote from you:
"This is incorrect.
You can fix the Dilution errors by using DGPS"

So I'm confused what you are saying. First you say using DGPS will not work, then claim DGPS will work. You say the GP is wrong, only to repeat exactly what GP said as a "correction".

So which is it? Is the GP wrong that DGPS works? If so, why are you not wrong that DGPS works?

Illiteracy is so sad :(

Re:Cyber Warfare (1)

gnasher719 (869701) | about 2 years ago | (#39952559)

So I'm confused what you are saying. First you say using DGPS will not work, then claim DGPS will work. You say the GP is wrong, only to repeat exactly what GP said as a "correction".

Very simple, really. SA transmits GPS signals, but with an error added. An ordinary GPS receiver therefore cannot figure out its exact position, you need this clever GPS receiver where you can type in what error SA is currently using.

Or you use a very simple method: You plug a GPS in the ground in a known location. You check where it thinks it is based on the GPS signal, and where you know that it is because you put it there and you know the place, and that gives you the exact error in the GPS signal.

In practice this is used to get highly accurate positioning that gets rid of the unintended errors caused by not-quite-exact satellite positions and the delays of the signals due to weather conditions.

Re:Cyber Warfare (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#39952323)

Consumer grade units wont give you the raw data from which you can produce corrections, never mind give you the RTCM itself. It wont read the L2 carrier phase, and it unlikely to utilise the L1 carrier either, plus the antenna will be naff. You are right that survey equipment is needed, but such things are never cheap. You will have to spend more than a few hundred bucks.

Good sign for their economy (3, Funny)

cvtan (752695) | about 2 years ago | (#39951899)

Good to know the North Koreans have extra money to send to the Russians and can afford to maintain jamming trucks.

Re:Good sign for their economy (5, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#39952443)

This is far from new. My brother is an Apache pilot and has had two tours in Korea. The North periodically jams GPS along the border. They also provide false navigation signals (including encoded identification) for both NDB [wikipedia.org] and VOR [wikipedia.org] near the border. They get a hard on for the potential to create an international incident. They would love to declare the US violated their airspace. Should it happen, of course they would claim their border was violated and neglect to tell you they also caused it.

Pilots receive specific training there so as to double check all navigation signals and to cross check against maps. They are not allowed to use GPS for primary navigation. They're not supposed to use it for primary navigation anyways, but in Korea, along the border, the realistic need is brought to the forefront.

So basically, this is the same stuff they've been doing for two decades. Seriously, nothing new here...aside from the fact that perhaps civilians are hearing about it.

Re:Good sign for their economy (3, Insightful)

Ash Vince (602485) | about 2 years ago | (#39952659)

Good to know the North Koreans have extra money to send to the Russians and can afford to maintain jamming trucks.

It's not "extra money" it's a policy called military first or some such crap. Basically it means the people can go starve if the army needs the money for a new toy.

Don't act hostile and seem like the bad guy... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#39951919)

Given the recent changes in leadership at the top, I would be inclined to be forgiving about this kind of thing, unless something unambiguously nasty happens.

Send a note saying "please turn the power down a bit", because this is silly border squabbling on the level of building a stupidly huge flagpole ( http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Gijeong-ri_Flag.jpg ) rather than the actively hostile sort, like shelling an inhabited island ( http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bombardment_of_Yeonpyeong )

Re:Don't act hostile and seem like the bad guy... (2)

Intrepid imaginaut (1970940) | about 2 years ago | (#39951987)

To me, "at least they aren't shelling villages" smacks a bit of the abused partner syndrome. None of these acts are acceptable, and while I get the whole holding themselves and parts of SK hostage thing, sooner or later a line will have to be drawn.

Re:Don't act hostile and seem like the bad guy... (3, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#39952019)

Abusive partner isn't the right metaphor for this situation. South Korea as a US ally is definitely the major power in this situation.

DPRK is more like a bully who knows they are weak, who knows they can't kick anybody without getting their face smashed in, so they throw insults around trying to annoy everybody else into doing something stupid. Hostility towards them is what they want, so that they can claim to be the victim.

GPS reliance (5, Interesting)

Savage-Rabbit (308260) | about 2 years ago | (#39951923)

While no accidents have been caused as yet, it has caused quite some disruption and has made ocean going craft suffer as well due to their heavy reliance on GPS signals.

It's amazing how many pilots/captains have completely lost the ability to navigate their vessels without electronics and the problem is made worse by the fact that the infrastructure you need to navigate without it has been neglected or even systematically dismantled in many countries. I have sometimes wondered what effect it would have on a major NATO military maneuver if you specified half way through the war-game that: "The enemy just knocked out several of our GPS satellites, please simulate this by not making any use of your GPS equipment nor any GPS enabled munitions except those that have a fallback mode".

Re:GPS reliance (5, Informative)

MichaelSmith (789609) | about 2 years ago | (#39951959)

LIke it or not, GPS is integrated into ATC infrastructure. Jamming like this has a direct economic impact because separation standards need to acount for degraded positioning data. Increase the separation between aircraft and you reduce the throughput of the affected airspace.

Re:GPS reliance (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#39951961)

seem to remember a documentary from a us aircraft carrier, at regular intervals during the day someone was picked to go out and find the ships position the old fashion way and report it to the captain who could then check the gps to verify that they still knew how to do it

Re:GPS reliance (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#39951967)

I would love the brass to do this. It is the very reason why I carry around a stack of maps I pay for myself and refuse to use GPS if I can avoid it. Luckily that ganers respect. Navigation is a skill that needs to be maintained. Oh and I have never heard an order with the word 'please' in it.

Re:GPS reliance (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#39952011)

FYI: changing the voices is in "GPS Hacking 101"!

Re:GPS reliance (1)

inasity_rules (1110095) | about 2 years ago | (#39951981)

Well, lets assume that there is no GPS. You navigate by ground based radio beacons. Guess what anyone with a big transmitter can do to those? So, whats left? Visual navigation? Only works if you can see your reference point(so, at night or in fog, you're screwed). That leaves for ships, what? Stars? If you can see them.

Like it or not, the issue is not the technology. It is the fact that you have some asshole country who wants to mess with it. A political problem, which has no genuine technical solution.

Re:GPS reliance (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#39952021)

Like it or not, the issue is not the technology. It is the fact that you have some asshole country who wants to mess with it. A political problem, which has no genuine technical solution.

Which is why the savage rabbit suggests NATO play around with that idea during some of their WARgames!

Re:GPS reliance (5, Interesting)

phaunt (1079975) | about 2 years ago | (#39952027)

The GP's point still stands. He mentions "that the infrastructure you need to navigate without it has been neglected or even systematically dismantled". This includes lighthouses, many of which are no longer being maintained. I find this a bad idea: they offer a globally distributed and resilient fall-back option to the much more centralised (almost single-point-of-failure) technology that GPS offers.

Re:GPS reliance (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#39952209)

Lighthouses have been more usurped by radar than by GPS. Almost every vessel has radar now, which allows them to navigate any shore instead of just the few ones that got lighthouses. It does cost a lot more effort to navigate on it though, so GPS and radio beacons are used mainly with radar as backup.

And lighthouses don't work well in bad weather (fog, storm, rain), which is why radar and gps are used so much more.

Re:GPS reliance (1)

Yvanhoe (564877) | about 2 years ago | (#39952231)

In case of war, creating a fake lighthouse to lead ships into rocks is a possibility.

A good fallback plan would be to have radar equipment that can see through fog and a database of the coast profiles.

Note however, that both lighthouses and this plan requires the ships to travel along the coast, that's still having an impact and not a replacement for a fully functional GPS system.

I think that jamming is possible when you are having omnidirectional receptors, but one could use a "navigation by star" system that works even in case of cloudy weather by identifying and tracking satellites with a parabolic dish. Not that easy on a ship but probably doable with a bit of infrastructure.

Re:GPS reliance (1)

d3ac0n (715594) | about 2 years ago | (#39952295)

Actually, I've often wondered why the very powerful onboard computer systems of large commercial and military vessels do NOT have some kind of fallback system. Perhaps they do and we simply don't know about it? (How many Sailors are there on /.?)

I would think that a system that calculates position based on both the relative motion of the vessel combined with observable star and land positions (using motion, wind, light and radar sensors) would be an excellent fallback system. Not as accurate as GPS, but much more difficult to mess with technologically.

I like Yvanhoe's "synthetic star" system as well, although that might have the same issues as GPS. Unless one was using reflected visible light via mirrors on the satellites. but then, one would have to think about issues of blocking visible actual stars with giant sunlight reflecting mirrors. I can't imagine the astronomical community around the globe liking you very much if you start washing out the universe with local sunlight reflection.

Re:GPS reliance (3, Informative)

LWATCDR (28044) | about 2 years ago | (#39952381)

They do. It is called an Inertial navigation system. The problem with an INS is that they drift over time so you must update it. To update it you can use GPS, Loran when it was available, or celestial. If you are near enough to land you can also use a fix from radar. Out of all these methods GPS is the most accurate.
INS has been in use for a very long time.

Re:GPS reliance (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#39952045)

A political problem, which has no genuine technical solution.

Oh, there is a technical solution, but it is too expensive and has undesirable side effects.
The only way to be sure is to nuke the site form orbit.
It should be a no-brainer to figure out why this has not been done yet.

Re:GPS reliance (2)

Lumpy (12016) | about 2 years ago | (#39952069)

You missed the one that most people use. Normal navigation using that new fangled compass thing and paper maps.

Not hard at all if you have any education at all in how to use them. I know private pilots that double check their GPS gear by taking headings and using VFR references to navigate through clouds. and as for the glide slope and inner and outer beacons, they would need some serious transmitter power to screw with those. Because you are very close to those highly directional transmitters when you use them.

Re:GPS reliance (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#39952137)

Ground bases beacons can be jammed, but their signals are many times more powerful than GPS satellites. To effectively jam all ground based navaids in a given area would require proximity or much more power. Also, you could not take out all ground based navaids as easily as you could take out the GPS system, assuming access to space based weaponry, which will become more common and not less. The US government could remotely shut down ground based navaids, but would have to detail troops to occupy transmitters to KEEP them off--should the government ever find itself at war with its citizens or something. GPS can be turned off by a few people with keyboards.

Also, ground based navaids use older technology that can be understood, repaired, or even created by someone with appropriate electronics skills, GPS--not so much. The ground based stuff is not perfect, but it's quirks are pretty well understood now and it served us well for decades.

Bottom line is relying ONLY on GPS is stupidity to an almost criminal degree. There hasn't been only one kind of navaid since the 1930s and the FAA, the airlines, and others seem hell bent on taking us backwards for the sake of alleged cost savings.

Re:GPS reliance (1)

yacc143 (975862) | about 2 years ago | (#39952313)

Hint: Long before GPS, human beings navigated.

Fascinating aspect is that you need to be able to navigate traditionally to get license for sailing ships here around. It's nothing very difficult, it's just that it requires one guy (that is responsible for navigation) to keep his brain engaged. Personally I always found docking under sails without engine, potentially at night time to be way more nerve wrecking.

Re:GPS reliance (1)

inasity_rules (1110095) | about 2 years ago | (#39952471)

The point you and most other sibling posters have missed about this is that back then we had a high tolerance for error. If the boat was late because of the weather, it was late. By the time we had commercial flight there were enough radio beacons to keep things relatively on time. Take away that technology and a lot of modern business falls apart. If we have to wait for a clear day to fly, how will you make your meeting? Attend to that breakdown 2000km away?

Like it or not, technology is useful. I'm not saying pilots/ship captains should not be able to operate without it in emergency conditions, but I am saying that technology is an integral and important part of our modern world. And believe it or not, it can save lives.

Re:GPS reliance (5, Informative)

rhook (943951) | about 2 years ago | (#39952041)

Airplane pilots are required to be up-to-date on their celestial navigation. The same applies to most maritime officers. In fact you never rely on just navigation system.

Re:GPS reliance (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#39952347)

Airplane pilots are required to be up-to-date on their celestial navigation. The same applies to most maritime officers. In fact you never rely on just navigation system.

At least that is the theory. In practice many pilots and skippers are over-confident that GPS always works.

Re:GPS reliance (1)

fotoguzzi (230256) | about 2 years ago | (#39952393)

Are you telling me that air pilots are walking around with astrolabes and that airplanes have astrodomes?

Re:GPS reliance (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#39952079)

Should we also teach all our tankers and jetfigther pilots how to build and use spears? After all, they have lost that skill as well, and what if the enemy knocks out all our fighter jets... then we will need our pilots to go in there with spears right?

Re:GPS reliance (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#39952095)

Milspec gear is supposed to use encrypted P-code to stop spoofing (and after the Iran drone-stealing debacle this will probably actually be enforced), and the new M-code can be spot beamed to the specific theatre of operations for a gain of 20dB vs. normal GPS which makes it jamming it require 100 times the power. It's arguably still true that they rely on it excessively, though.

Re:GPS reliance (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#39952267)

We get announcements in the north of Scotland to warn us that GPS may be intermittent for periods of time during exercises. I'm pretty sure they practise it :)

Re:GPS reliance (2)

IndustrialComplex (975015) | about 2 years ago | (#39952473)

It's also amazing how many pilots/captains have completely lost the ability to transmit messages via carrier pigeon.

It's a tool, and like any tool, if you remove the ability to use it while you are using it, it's going to cause disruption. Most pilots prepare for emergency landings should their engine quit, you wouldn't be surprised if that disrupted things, why should GPS?

What if their more robust VHF/UHF radios kicked the bucket while flying? That would seriously disrupt them too, but you wouldn't lament the fact that they are dependent on that technology would you?

You can dig a ditch with a shovel and a bucket, but you don't see road crews eschewing the use of diesel powered equipment for fear that you would run out of fuel mid-project.

Same old (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#39951933)

The DPRK does this every year. I am surprised that there have not been any significant accidents yet.

Jammin' (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#39951973)

We're jammin':
I wanna jam it wid you.
We're jammin', jammin',
And I hope you like jammin', too.

get even... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#39952001)

airdrop millions of Skittles on the North - they'll soon sue for peace

EMP Cannon? (1)

andydread (758754) | about 2 years ago | (#39952007)

I wonder if the electronics on these trucks can be mysteriously fried from a distance with some kind of directed energy beam?. Maybe can be taking out covertly with the ABL/ALTB? [boeing.com]

ARM (1)

bradley13 (1118935) | about 2 years ago | (#39952273)

ARM = Anti-Radiation Missile. Should solve the problem.

Re:ARM (5, Funny)

Rogerborg (306625) | about 2 years ago | (#39952333)

Could be a laugh too (except for the guys in the trucks).
  • South: Dude, those jamming trucks are way uncool, they're harshing our buzz.
  • North: LOL, what trucks?
  • South: [BOOM]
  • North: Dude! You just totally blew up our trucks!
  • South: LOL, what trucks?

Re:ARM (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#39952467)

More probable, after the "BOOM", they would start throwing babies into the burning fire, take pictures, and then internationally scorn the South/US for its travestity and complete disregard for human life for attacking a bus filled with children.

Bubba's at your BACKDOOR and he loves the scent! (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#39952049)

You'd be surprised how much hardware and software have back doors built into them, much of it legally.

GOOGLE: Cisco routers back doors

and you'll find hours of reading material alone just for one company.

WIKILEAKS: published information on dozens of companies making spyware for hardware and software and selling it to governments.

When is the last time you checked the firmware on your PCI devices and network card?

Your router?

Dumped and checksummed/debugged your BIOS lately?

Why aren't the anti-malware companies like Symantec and others climbing over each other in an effort to invent the technology and utilize it via the cloud to create GIANT databases of legit firmware for hardware in the fight against the most serious of root kits? Are they in bed with big bro?

How many so called remote exploits were patched this week in Windows? This month? This year? Since its release? Start from the beginning of the Windows version release and count all of the remote exploits up to present day and compare that to OpenBSD for example.

##

U.S. govâ(TM)t wiretapping laws and your network
â" https://www.networkworld.com/news/2007/012307-us-govt-wiretapping-laws-and.html [networkworld.com]

âoeActivists have long grumbled about the privacy implications of the legal âoebackdoorsâ that networking companies like Cisco build into their equipmentâ"functions that let law enforcement quietly track the Internet activities of criminal suspects. Now an IBM researcher has revealed a more serious problem with those backdoors: They donâ(TM)t have particularly strong locks, and consumers are at risk.â
â" http://www.forbes.com/2010/02/03/hackers-networking-equipment-technology-security-cisco.html [forbes.com]

Why just block. (1)

will_die (586523) | about 2 years ago | (#39952087)

If you can block the satellite signals and want do cause problems why not start broadcasting fake information.
Change the fake info on a rotating basis and even more fun.

Re:Why just block. (5, Informative)

Pentium100 (1240090) | about 2 years ago | (#39952129)

The power requirements are different.

To jam a signal you need to transmit noise that can drown the original signal, so that the receiver cannot figure out what it is. To transmit fake information, you need a much stronger transmitter because you not only need to drown the original signal but also have your signal be strong enough so that the receiver does not get confused when it receives both signals (the original and yours), otherwise you are just jamming.

Also transmitting fake information requires more complex electronics instead of just a noise generator and a big transmitter.

blocking in the UK (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#39952105)

In the USSR, the Soviets spent several hundred million a year on jamming stations [puslapiai.lt].

In the UK, radio is jammed by allowing BT to distribute PLT networking kit which turns household mains wiring into large antennas and distributes noise all over the HF (and in some cases VHF) spectrum. The Internet is increasingly censored (CP, "piracy" and - if Baroness Howe has her way - porn) via the IWF "voluntary" tech, where "voluntary" is in the sense that a de facto prerequisite for government contracts is that an ISP uses it.

If NK is blocking a US military technology then that's frankly the least of our spectrum worries.

What about glonass? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#39952143)

Does glonass work? It'd be easy to jam that to, but are they?

The republic's not on fire, it's in ashes. (2)

windcask (1795642) | about 2 years ago | (#39952259)

Perhaps they could put their money to more constructive uses, like, you know, feeding their severely malnourished populous.

Re:The republic's not on fire, it's in ashes. (-1, Troll)

coinreturn (617535) | about 2 years ago | (#39952459)

And perhaps if the members of the "we've got our weapons, ha ha, you don't" club would stop bullying them with embargoes, maybe they could feed their people (who may be doing just fine, but we only hear the propaganda, being members of aforementioned club).

take them out (3, Insightful)

jeppen (1377103) | about 2 years ago | (#39952369)

South Korea should simply take out those jamming trucks with missiles. If that escalates into a war, then that may be for the best. North Korea should have been liberated by force at least ten years ago. It was a much better target than Iraq, and a much nobler cause. What NK does to its own people is, on a per-capita basis, about as bad as it gets.

Re:take them out (3, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#39952491)

As much as it may rankle the cheapest (and best) option is for the South Koreans to do everything it can to avoid war. Cost in life and money of war would be enormous (on both sides), that is not something that you can be flippant about. It would also likely end up being a fight with China who would use it as an excuse for a North Korean land-grab.

I think the resolution to this stalemate will probably come from China invading or otherwise taking over North Korea at some stage in next decade or two.

In other News (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#39952437)

En må ge, blev snuppet i nærheden af A på Sandgårdsvej,
og faldt ud af virkeligheden, straffen for Hekseri!

Påstanden om at A må gi, er dermed modbevist!

56.284311,9.429818 sådan ca. 11:00 - 13:00 Cet
Spooky Action

A

Two thoughts (1)

rjejr (921275) | about 2 years ago | (#39952493)

1. Is there a jammer for the jammer? If not, shouldn't somebody be working on making one? 2. Have the South Koreans ASKED the North to stop or are they just whining about it on Facebook? IF they asked and the North said "no", well it really goes against everything I beleive in but I would do something violent. Does the south have pinpoint accuracy (or there abouts) missiles that could take the trucks out? I don't think bombing the entire city would be a good idea. Maybe the Navy seals need some sequel material?

Stop feeding the Norks. (1)

couchslug (175151) | about 2 years ago | (#39952603)

Cut all aid and permanently embargo the North with the understanding that if they attack the South they get nuked. They won't attack.

Tac nukes are what kept them in their box after the Korean war, which is still not over. The North plays the same game over decades, and each generation of Westerners thinks its fucking new.

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