Russians are jamming satellites to disrupt aircraft traffic and landing

The European Union Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) issued an emergency alert after some flights in the region had to be diverted or changed destinations following continued interference detected on navigation satellites. The Agency mentions that, since the beginning of the Russian invasion of Ukraine, there has been a marked increase in disruptions in the Global Navigation Satellite Systems (GNSS), mainly in Kaliningrad, the Black Sea, eastern Finland and the eastern Mediterranean.

“The possible identity theft and some effects of the intrusion were observed by the aircraft in several phases of their flights, which in certain cases led to changing the route or even changing the destination in the face of an unfavorable scenario for safe landing,” the agency said. The alert adds that, under current conditions, it is not possible to predict disruptions to the satellite system and their possible effects, as they depend on the extent of the affected area, flight conditions and other factors.

The alert includes a list of recommended mitigations in case an aircraft faces GNSS signal errors during flight. In related news, a joint statement from the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA) andthe Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) warns organizations in the U.S. about potential cybersecurity threats against satellite communication networks, which could pose a severe risk.

According to this report, agencies are asking public and private organizations to significantly lower their threshold for reporting and sharing evidence of malicious activity, in addition to implementing detailed reviews of security risk mitigation measures recommended by the U.S. government.

Among CISA’s recommendations are monitoring anomalous traffic at entry and exit points, implementing multi-factor authentication, and least-privilege access policies. Other security measures applicable to any organization include communications encryption, regular updates and vulnerability management, network log monitoring, and design of security incident response plans.

To learn more about information security risks, malware variants, vulnerabilities and information technologies, feel free to access the International Institute of Cyber Security (IICS) websites.