By on January 30, 2017

kremlin_moscow russia (Wikimedia commons)

Everyone loves a good mystery, and in Russia it seems there are many. Read up on the Dyatlov Pass incident if you’re looking for a reason not to go camping.

In the country where a bearded charlatan once inspired a great disco song, something odd has cropped up in recent months. Moscow motorists, when not surviving serious collisions in subpar vehicles without a scratch, have noticed that their GPS device will suddenly re-position its location when driving near the Kremlin.

The closer to the Kremlin, the more likely the device will suddenly find an alternative location to exist. In every instance, the location is the same: Vnukovo Airport, 20 miles from the seat of government.

Local media had a field day with the news, with The Moscow Times running the headline, “The Kremlin Eats GPS for Breakfast.” Clearly, an unknown force, emitted from somewhere, is interfering with satellite signals and replacing pinpoint coordinates with a default location when people stray too near.

Before Christmas, a CNN reporter walked towards the Kremlin, phone in hand. Standing a mile from the complex, her Google Maps position remained stubbornly locked on Vnukova Airport, and nothing could be done to reset it. A CNN photojournalist travelling near the Kremlin found himself with a steep Uber bill after the driver’s GPS incorrectly calculated a trip from the airport, even though the trip didn’t originate, or terminate, at the airport.

When asked, official channels returned no explanation. The Russian Federal Protection Service, tasked with Kremlin security, apparently has no interest in dashing across Red Square to provide the press with details on the mystery.

An expert in GPS technology, Todd Humphreys of the University of Texas’ Radionavigation Laboratory in Austin, told CNN that the situation bears all the hallmarks of “spoofing.” Unlike jamming, where signals are simply denied access, GPS spoofing overpowers a signal with a much stronger one. That leads the device to believe that it is actually in a very different location.

Humphreys is convinced that the signals are being sent out to keep pesky drones away from the Kremlin. Because many commercial drones are pre-programmed to avoid airports, sending out a misleading signal would keep those peeping quadrocopters at bay. Can’t be too careful, you know.

Pushing out the signal would be a fairly easy task, too. All that’s needed is a GPS signal generator, an amplifier, and antennae.

Moscow blogger and Segway driver Grigory Bakunov, who mapped out phony signal area during a two-wheeled excursion last fall, believes the Kremlin pumps out a spoofed geolocation signal on the L1 frequency — the same one used by devices that map a person’s location.

Given that the Russian government has nothing to say about the matter, Muscovites had best get used to paying for rides from the airport, whether they were there or not.

[Image: Wikimedia Commons (CC BY 2.0)]

Get the latest TTAC e-Newsletter!

Recommended

42 Comments on “Bizarre GPS Activity Means Drivers Near the Kremlin Are Always at the Airport...”


  • avatar
    Verbal

    In post-Soviet Russia, car drives you!

  • avatar
    OldManPants

    Frickin’ onion domes… make their towers look like minarets after Viagra.

  • avatar
    TonyJZX

    they have their own system anyway (glonass) so who the hell knows whats going on…

  • avatar
    Lou_BC

    GPS coordinates changing from Kremlin to airport 20 miles away?

    Russia is planning ahead.

    That Putin/Trump bromance is bound to end.

    you know how jilted lovers tend to be like.

  • avatar
    VoGo

    I’ll bite: “bearded charlatan once inspired a great disco song”?

  • avatar
    Drzhivago138

    The song is “Rasputin” by Boney M, if anyone’s wondering.

    /watch?v=W8dJaK0FrzM

  • avatar
    mtmmo

    Given US missile technology doesn’t rely solely on gps coordinates this would be a non-issue for the USA. Canada doesn’t have those concerns because they’re not a Super Power (nor even in Top 10 Country Power ranking per NYT) and besides Trudeau is busy mansplaining why terrorists are killing Canadians. Thank God the USA has President Trump.

    • 0 avatar
      Lou_BC

      @mtmmo – “Terrorism – the unlawful use of violence and intimidation, especially against civilians, in the pursuit of political aims.”

      Preliminary investigations indicate that the shooter was a white supremacist.

      “Posts on his Facebook page show he “liked” Donald Trump, French Front National leader Marine Le Pen and Mathieu Bock-Cóté, a Quebec City columnist known for his pro-nationalist and anti-multicultural views.”

  • avatar
    mikey

    @mtmmo…The police have only one person in custody. The alleged shooter , at this point, has no ties to any terrorist organization ….Just another racist whack job.

    • 0 avatar
      mtmmo

      Trudeau: “We condemn this act of terrorism.” No one said the person(s) responsible had ties to any terrorist organization. That was your assumption.

      • 0 avatar
        Lou_BC

        mtmmo – “Terrorism – the unlawful use of violence and intimidation, especially against civilians, in the pursuit of political aims.”

        You don’t need to be attached to a terrorist organization to carry out acts of terrorism.

        • 0 avatar
          mtmmo

          “You don’t need to be attached to a terrorist organization to carry out acts of terrorism.”

          Wow you have really poor reading comprehension.

          • 0 avatar
            Lou_BC

            The definition of terrorism is clear : “Terrorism – the unlawful use of violence and intimidation, especially against civilians, in the pursuit of political aims.”

            What is the goal of white supremacy?

            Just another racist whack job…….

            Please clarify the part of the sentance’s’ that I’m not comprehending!

          • 0 avatar
            Lou_BC

            On the subject of comprehension:

            “Almost immediately, various news outlets and political figures depicted the shooter as Muslim. Right-wing nationalist tabloids in the UK instantly linked it to Islamic violence. Fox News claimed that “witnesses said at least one gunman shouted ‘Allahu akbar!’,” and then added this about the shooter’s national origin:Suspect in Quebec mosque terror attack was of Moroccan origin, reports show”

            “White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer exploited the attack to justify President Trump’s ban on immigrants from seven Muslim-majority countries. “It’s a terrible reminder of why we must remain vigilant and why the President is taking steps to be proactive rather than reactive when it comes to our nation’s safety and security,” Spicer said at this afternoon’s briefing when speaking of the Quebec City attack.

            But these assertions are utterly false. The suspect is neither Moroccan nor Muslim. The Moroccan individual, Mohamed Belkhadir, was actually one of the worshippers at the mosque and called 911 to summon the police, and played no role whatsoever in the shooting.

            The actual shooting suspect is 27-year-old Alexandre Bissonnette, a white French Canadian who is, by all appearances, a rabid anti-immigrant nationalist. A leader of a local immigration rights groups, François Deschamps, told a local paper he recognized his photo as an anti-immigrant far-right “troll” who has been hostile to the group online.”

            “The Globe and Mail added that he “was known in the city’s activist circles as a right-wing troll who frequently took anti-foreigner and anti-feminist positions and stood up for U.S. President Donald Trump.” And Bisonnette’s Facebook page – now taken down but still archived – lists among its “likes” the far right French nationalist Marine Le Pen, Islam critics Richard Dawkins and Christopher Hitchens, the Israeli Defense Forces, and Donald J. Trump”
            “ut this is exactly why no responsible news organization, let alone the White House, should rush to depict the shooter as Muslim and of Moroccan descent when so little is known about what happened. Yet not only did Fox and the Trump White House do exactly that, but worse, neither has retracted or corrected their claims long after it became clear that it was false:

            Follow
            Derrick O’Keefe ✔ @derrickokeefe
            Hour & a half after tweeting out false info on #QuebecMosqueAttack Fox News has still not corrected or retracted. @ggreenwald https://twitter.com/FoxNews/status/826120752529301504 …
            10:52 AM – 30 Jan 2017
            856 856 Retweets 660 660 likes
            The inflammatory effect of this sort of reckless, biased “reporting” is as predictable as it is toxic. All day long, people around the world cited these reports to justify Trump’s ban as well as their own ugly views of Muslims:
            Follow
            TRUMP MOVEMENT @TRUMPMOVEMENTUS
            Quebec gunman ‘is Muslim Moroccan’ http://dailym.ai/2kDFm8e via @MailOnline
            7:17 AM – 30 Jan 2017″

            “The only part of any of this that’s true is that it was an act of terrorism: terrorism aimed, yet again, at Muslims by someone who has apparently been indoctrinated with a great deal of hate toward them. Media outlets and the White House led people all over the world today to believe exactly the opposite.”

          • 0 avatar
            ect

            Lou_BC, I commend your research, but you’re wasting your (figurative) breath. mtmmo and his ilk aren’t the least bit interested in facts. As throughout this and other posts, you’ll get a response that completely ignores the substance of your comment and only launches some brief, very lame, purported insult. Which we all know is not a substitute for conscious thought, or wit.

          • 0 avatar
            FreedMike

            mtmmo just likes it when people pay attention to him.

            Seriously, TTAC…ignore button. Please.

          • 0 avatar
            Lou_BC

            ect – I’m not trying to change his mind. I am providing a counterpoint to his disinformation.

            The question is this: Is he a troll or not?

            If he is a troll then ignore works but if he isn’t then he is far more dangerous.

          • 0 avatar
            FreedMike

            Search your feelings, Lou…find the truth, you will…

            (It ain’t hard…)

  • avatar
    mikey

    Fair enough…… ..Might explain why I avoid political debate.

    • 0 avatar
      Lou_BC

      @mikey – Trudeau was correct in calling it terrorism.

      • 0 avatar
        N8iveVA

        They never seem to want to call it terrorism when it’s a Christian doing it.

        • 0 avatar
          OldManPants

          “Christian” is not a synonym for “white” and this Bissonnette cretin may as well have been an islamist operative for all the gormless abetting of the islamists that will result form this random act of whack.

          • 0 avatar
            Lou_BC

            OldManPants – the guy wasn’t Muslim. Did anyone say he was a Christian Fundamentalist?

            Since you mentioned Christian, there are many similarities between Conservative right wing Christian Fundamentalists and Muslim Fundamentalists.

            We did have one shooting where the guy was white and had converted to Islam. (2014 Parliament Shooting)

            Both incidences are categorized as terrorism under the Criminal Code of Canada.

  • avatar
    mikey

    Lou……. I agree..

  • avatar
    stuki

    Unless the spoof signal is sent from space (or a plane), couldn’t drones simply employ directional gps antennas pointed upwards? Or are gps signals such that that is difficult?

  • avatar
    claytori

    Driving north out of Las Vegas past Nellis Air Force Base on I15 will have your GPS becoming non-functional for several miles.

  • avatar
    jim brewer

    I have noticed slightly bizarre readings while driving by military bases in the US.

  • avatar
    yankinwaoz

    Does the White House and other sensitive US sites do the same trick?


Back to TopLeave a Reply

You must be logged in to post a comment.

Recent Comments

  • Higheriq: I foresee a much watered down weak effort and something much different from the one pictured above. We will...
  • carlisimo: We would’ve liked to buy a place in the city (San Francisco), but the suburbs was what we could...
  • 28-Cars-Later: “He’s priced it at KBB value, plus $400, thinking he will get $10 out of it” KBB is some...
  • Jack Baruth: who needs to burn a book when people like you are happy to pressure it into never being printed in the...
  • carlisimo: Thanks for putting those numbers together. Personally, I’m not seeing any increase in smog. But...

New Car Research

Get a Free Dealer Quote

Staff