How Equinix Precision Time Mitigates Jamming and Spoofing Threats – Interconnections


GNSS jamming and spoofing – what’s the difference? 

Jamming refers to interference with signals at GNSS frequencies and can be caused either unintentionally or intentionally. Unintentional reasons can include space weather or faulty equipment that can inadvertently jam GNSS signal reception. Intentional jamming is designed to overpower a weak GNSS signal. Although it is illegal to jam GPS signals, individuals can use portable jammers available for purchase online.

Spoofing occurs when GPS simulators or custom-built systems are used to hack into a GPS system. The hacking causes the receiver to catch on to a new falsely generated signal, causing the GPS to lie to the user. It then tricks the GPS receiver into thinking it is at a different time and location thereby falsifying the location and time and ultimately disrupting the operation.

How does jamming and spoofing impact businesses?

Businesses that rely on GNSS infrastructure for accurate location and time synchronization include financial institutions, critical infrastructure, government agencies, transportation, broadcast and telecommunication companies.

When a network infrastructure using a GNSS receiver gets jammed, it will start to lose the time synchronization and ultimately impact the operation of the network. In the case of a communication network, it can impact the quality of the voice call or a video streaming service delivery. For a financial institution, the jamming can result in non-compliance—resulting in big fines and loss of credibility.

Spoofing involves a more malicious plan. Individuals who spoof often do so to cause harm, for personal, political, or financial gain, or because they are engaged in illegal activities–such as changing the timestamps for financial transactions. Financial and stock market transactions are marked with UTC time, which uses GNSS systems.

Managing jamming and spoofing threats effectively


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