680 Forks on GitHub for GPS Signal Simulation

Projects on GitHub for GPS Simulation

We recently browsed GitHub to check what projects for simulating GPS signals exist. Our survey surprised us!

The most popular software for GPS spoofing on GitHub is GPS-SDR-SIM. The project was developed by Takuji Ebinuma: http://blog.goo.ne.jp/osqzss.

It generates and saves to a file the IQ data with its associated GPS baseband signal. The file can be played (converted to RF) using software-defined radio (SDR), such as ADALM-Pluto, bladeRF, HackRF One, and USRP. So it’s not a real-time application. First, you have to generate the file and then play it.

The project was very active until mid-2018. To date, 198 issues have been closed, and 95 are still open. 18 programmers contributed to the project, and the most interesting thing is that there are 680 forks of the project on GitHub. In the table below, we have highlighted the most interesting ones:

gym487/GPS-SDR-SIM-realtime Supports IQ data generation to the port for real-time playback via GNU Radio
osqzss/bladeGPS Real-time signal generation with bladeRF
osqzss/LimeGPS Real-time signal generation with LimeSDR
Mictronics/PLUTO-GPS-SIM Real-time signal generation with ADALM-Pluto

Real-time signal generation with HackRF One or ADALM-PLUTO. Has settings for over-the-air operation: Target distance [m], bearing [°], and height [m]. Parameters can be changed on the fly.

We can assume that the application is designed to perform real attacks.

These forks indicate substantial interest in this topic from the community.

GPS Spoofing Instructions on YouTube

Then we checked out how many instructions there are on YouTube on how to run a spoofer with SDR. In the table below, we have listed the most trending:

All of these videos are long and boring enough to be watched for no apparent reason. We hope it’s just pure academic interest.

These views are pretty big numbers. And we expect the community’s interest in GPS spoofing to grow continually. GNSS is used in various services that are highly liable to spoofing:

  • autonomous delivery
  • car sharing
  • scooter/bike sharing
  • vehicle/fuel tracking.

GPS spoofing has become a simple enough exercise that Chinese companies could implement affordable spoofers the same way they did GNSS jammers and flooded the world with them. Imagine what would happen when a GNSS spoofer can be ordered on AliExpress for as low as $150.

Don’t be surprised when a fake GPS signal accidentally conceals your critical GNSS-dependent infrastructure!

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