Tags: Cybersecurity | Emerging Threats | Iran | strait of hormuz | jamming | centcom

Iran Plays a Dangerous Hi-Tech Game

iran gps


By Thursday, 08 August 2019 02:39 PM Current | Bio | Archive

Iran is playing dirty tricks in and around the Strait of Hormuz.

To begin with, they are jamming the GPS of tankers, causing ships to wander off course —and in to their waters. They are also spoofing andradioing the vessels, proporting to be friendly and even U.S. navy ships.

Over the years the Iranian leadership has perfected the art of mixing and matching partial truths with outright lies in order to advance their agenda. They want to convince global observers that it is the Iranian leadership who are the innocent victims, innocent victims targeted by organized Western aggression.

In this case Iranians are deliberately dogging, misleading and luring ships off course.

Their actions have turned into a war of jamming.

Like most everything else they engage in, for Iran this is serious business.

Globally this is extremely dangerous. We are seeing signs all over the Mideast.

The U.S. Department of Transportation Maritime Division published a public warning to all ships and companies traveling in the region alerting them that Iran "spoofed bridge-to-bridge communications from unknown entities falsely claiming to be U.S. or coalition warships."

U.S. Central Command (CENTCOM) said in a statement, "Due to the heightened regional tensions, the potential for miscalculation or misidentification could lead to aggressive actions against vessels belonging to US, allied and coalition partners operating in the Arabian Gulf, Strait of Hormuz, and Gulf of Oman . . . GPS interference, bridge-to-bridge communications spoofing, and/or other communications jamming with little to no warning."

Bridge-to-bridge communication is when ships speak to one another.

Iran has been become expert at jamming.

That shouldn’t come as a big surprise given that as far back as 2012 the Iranian government has been jamming their own citizens. Back then, Iran replaced a series of short flagpoles scattered around their country with huge flagpoles – all the better to hide their jamming devices.

The newer, taller, flagpoles sprouted up almost everywhere. The Iranian regime was attempting to stop all forms of social media and messaging. Their citizens were using satellites to communicate and find out the truth about what was happening in the world and that was not what Iranian leadership wanted.

The Russians, too, have become very good at GPS jamming. Intelligence analysts report that Russia is jamming not waterways, but airspace, specifically the airspace around Syria. And that means that Russia is now capable of jamming communication for the new US stealth fighter jet, the F-35. This may be an exaggeration -I am skeptical that Russia is that sophisticated.

Even more worrisome than all of this is a report that was issued this summer by the International Federation of Airline Pilots Association. The report details that pilots, landing in Tel Aviv’s Ben Gurion Airport in Israel, have lost GPS and that it is a recurring phenomenon.

Thankfully, there are alternative tools that can be used to land and take off. Israel has said that they are dealing with the issue. But the mere presence of this issue demonstrates that we now live in a world hampered — dangerously so, by a significant threat of jamming. And this jamming can and is affecting more than ships at sea and military drones and jets in the sky, it is also targeting civilian aircraft with hundreds of civilian passengers aboard.

When it comes to tech, Iran is highly skilled.

They are developing their own tools and are using and adapting Russian and North Korean tech.

Jamming and spoofing by Iran explains quite a lot of what has been happening in the Strait of Hormuz. Iran does not play games for fun. And this time, as always, the Iranians are playing by their own rules and they are playing to win.

Micah Halpern is a political and foreign affairs commentator. He founded "The Micah Report" and hosts "Thinking Out Loud with Micah Halpern" a weekly TV program and "My Chopp" a daily radio spot. A dynamic speaker, he specializes in analyzing world events and evaluating their relevance and impact. Follow him on Twitter @MicahHalpern. To read more of this reports — Click Here Now.

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Jamming and spoofing by Iran explains quite a lot of what has been happening in the Strait of Hormuz. Iran does not play games for fun. And this time, as always, the Iranians are playing by their own rules and they are playing to win.
strait of hormuz, jamming, centcom
Thursday, 08 August 2019 02:39 PM
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