Everything you need to know about GPS spoofing

Everything you need to know about GPS spoofing

Driving the city center, you look at your map application, and it shows that you’re at the railway station. That’s a little bit uncomfortable. This is what we call GPS spoofing in which fake GPS signals shift your GPS coordinates.  

What is GPS spoofing?

GPS spoofing is an assault whose main objective is to overwrite the current location of a device in which GPS is enabled. The intruder transmits the fake signals of GPS by using a radio transmitter and tempers the GPS receivers, and because of that, you see some phony GPS locations on your device.  

Mobile phone users can parody their GPS by downloading third-party applications that fool specific applications into imagining the phone user is not in its exact position. When your mobile is spoofed, it may show you’ve traveled into the future or back into time.

Facts of GPS Spoofing

  • All the nearby navigators will see the false location.
  • GPS spoofing may be used to confuse or hijack taxi drivers, sailors, and drones, with UAVs and cars.
  • The tools of GPS spoofing are not expensive, and you need a few hundred dollars to buy all the necessary things.
  • Anti-GPS spoofing tech has been evolved, but primarily for the large systems like naval navigation.

How GPS Spoofing Works

Many satellite systems are suspended just above our Planet in the geostationary orbit. They are European Galileo, American GPS, Chinese BeiDou, and Russian GLONASS. Every satellite sends a constant radio signal, and the signal contains the code of satellite with the exact transmission time of the signal.

  • Nothing is transmitted by your mobile; however, you receive these signals from the space. By examining the precise time of receipt of signals, the distance from each satellite to the GPS receiver can be calculated.
  • The primary issue is that when they reach terra firma, the signals of satellite get weak and that most of the receiver antennas are not highly sensitive.
  • It is simple to suffocate out the satellite and trigger all the GPS receivers in some regions to calculate the incorrect location by sitting nearby a powerful transmitter and broadcasting the false but technically proficient GPS signal.

Why use GPS Spoofing

Construction disruption

The GPS spoofing can easily control the machinery of construction. Just assume the deadly impact if thousands of bricks were poured in the wrong location.


To monitor people and shipments, you can use GPS systems. Lengthy-distance drivers generally have geofencing systems that are operated by GPS that lock the truck till it arrives at its destination. Cybercriminals can steal the cargo from some specific place of the truck.

Taxi Traps

Taxi drivers use GPS spoofing to disprove their destination to make more money and then use it to conceal their position for illegal activity. For travelers, it can also be a significant security threat.


Some mobile applications can assist you in spoofing the location of your smartphone. These apps are convenient while playing games like Pokémon Go. These position spoofing apps will show the wrong position to these gaming apps.  

Types of GPS Spoofing

Spoofers overwhelm the comparatively weak GNSS signals by fake positioning information transmitted through radio waves. There are two types of spoofing:

  1. Production and transmission of the modified satellite signals
  2. Rebroadcasting the GNSS signals which are captured at some other location or time

What is the Difference between GPS Spoofing and GPS Jamming

  • GPS spoofers deceive a GPS system by trying to feed it the fake signals. 
  • GPS jammers kick entirely out of the GPS system. Jammers may also interfere with the civil aviation system, mobile phone service, and communications with emergency and law enforcement services.

Who wants GPS spoofing?

  • There are many cases of hacking GPS systems that are associated with research projects, poaching, and military operations.
  • The list is growing day by day as the technological advancements like uncrewed vehicles and drones are developing.

How to protect yourself against GPS spoofing

There are some techniques available for the anti-spoofing, but these are very costly, and they are not available for everyone. You should follow these necessary steps to be secure against GPS spoofing.

  1. You must have a backup system whenever you see a drastic change in the time or GPS
  2. Coordinates like until the primary link is restored, cesium or rubidium dials could be used as backup scheduling devices.
  3. For tracking the deliverables, drivers, ships, and planes from your building, you will have to obscure the antenna of your building. Generally, the false signals arrive from a nearer location than the signs of the satellite.  
  4. If you use the GPS location for your application or business, you must develop some analytics or some machine learning for checking the suspicious data.

Latest Research on the GPS Spoofing

The researchers of the University of Oklahoma found the two possible solutions of GPS spoofing:

  1. If the strength of signals from civilian GPS is increased, it would be hard to fool the navigational system. But this is a complicated method.
  2. In the GPS receivers, if Trivial anti-spoofing algorithms are used, they can alert the user about GPS spoofing

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