Teleportation from the Kremlin to Vnukovo: why is the GPS in the center of Moscow is working properly

Residents of the capital drew attention to failures in the GPS: in the center of Moscow, near the Kremlin, people began to celebrate the anomaly due to which smartphones and navigators indicate that they are now in Vnukovo. The mysterious behavior of GPS devices had difficulties with drivers of taxi cabs, runners and fans of Pokemon Go.

Director of distribution technologies of “Yandex” Gregory bakunow, known online as Bobuk, conducted its own investigation, the results of which are published on its channel in the Telegram. To understand the problem it has prompted my own curiosity and inconvenience arising from the passage of this zone on the way to work. It took a few different GPS and GLONASS receivers and a frequency analyzer, and for three hours traveled in the Kremlin, producing a measurement.

“That’s what I found: somewhere inside the Kremlin stands (and possibly moving) the powerful transmitter. He imitates the work of GPS and GLONASS satellites on L1 and the noise at frequencies of L2 and L5. The L1 frequency is a “civilian” range for GPS, it is used by most household appliances for precise geolocation,” said Bobuk.

Making measurements of the direction of the source signal (the blue areas on the map) at various points around the Kremlin, the bakunow suggested, where exactly might be “jamming” (on the map marked with star).

He also noted that for cheating GPS need to simulate the satellite, giving his time and position in space.

“Hackers have learned this a long time. There is even a ready software and hardware from renowned companies that allow you to manipulate receivers. Most likely, one of these complexes is now being used,” explained the bakunow.

“Teleportation” in Vnukovo, according to Bakunova is the need to specify fake coordinates that the device will inform the Navigator. And the setup is complete hardware-software complex was probably used default values. “It so happened that in these lists for Russia are only the centers of major cities and airports. As you know, Vnukovo — alphabetically first airport in the heart of Moscow”, — wrote the blogger.

In addition, he said, his readers complained of similar problems in another area of the Moscow metro “Dynamo”. According to the blogger, it can also be due to the experiments on the same stadium.

As noted by the bakunow Life, hypotheses about sluffing may be two: the interference of the security services for the protection of officials in the territory of the Kremlin, and the fight with the drones. Many believe that services like FSO deliberately “jammed” GPS-navigation — for reasons of security of the President. The bakunow considers most probable that it was done to combat the flying drones with cameras over the Kremlin.

“All the drones that are sold legally, has built-in protection from takeoff in closed areas. This rule entered the United States. He was not penalized, as everyone wants to sell their products in this market”, — he explained. According to him, it is possible to create a drone that will be able to circumvent these prohibitions or crack serial quadcopter, but it is quite difficult.

Clifton Nichols

Clifton Nichols

Hi! I’m Clifton and I am a full-stack engineer with a passion for building performant and scalable applications that are beautiful and easy to use.

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