Russia ‘Spoofs’ Israeli Aircraft GPS Systems, Reports Out Of Israel Say, But Russia Calls Reports ‘Fake News’

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Less than three months after a major exposé revealed that Russia uses sophisticated electronic warfare technology to disrupt local GPS systems as a way to protect President Vladimir Putin from drone strike assassination attempts, as The Inquisitr reported, reports out of Israel say that Russian GPS “spoofing” has disrupted flights coming into Israel’s Ben Gurion Airport, the main international airport in the country of just 8.7 million.

For a period of approximately the past three weeks, pilots attempting to land flights at Ben Gurion have encountered “mysterious disruptions” in their GPS-based navigational systems, according to a report by the Israeli news outlet Arutz Sheva. Citing a report by the Israeli Defense Forces radio network Galei Tzahal, Arutz Sheva said that “the reason for these disruptions is a hostile attack by Russia,” and that Israeli diplomats have been meeting secretly with Russian officials in an attempt to resolve the issue.

Sources claimed to the Israeli newspaper Haaretz that the GPS “spoofing” — that is, disrupting of GPS data — has not caused any major safety concerns for passengers and pilots on flights into the Israeli airport because planes can immediately switch to backup GPS systems when their main GPS malfunctions for any reason — including outside interference.

Planes sit on the tarmac at Ben Gurion Airport
Israel's Ben Gurion Airport, where Russians have reportedly been disrupting Israeli flights.Featured image credit: Quique KierszenbaumGetty Images

The Israeli government has not offered any official comment on the GPS disruptions, and the Russian government-owned media outlet RT reported that the Russian embassy in Israel dismissed the Israeli reports of the GPS spoofing as “fake news.”

The dismissive response from the official Russian sources came on the same day that Donald Trump met with Putin at the G20 summit in Japan and openly complained about “fake news” in the United States, as The Inquisitr reported, leading Putin to respond that “fake news” was also a problem inside of Russia.

The GPS interference believed to come from Russian forces has not affected ground-based systems, targeting only the onboard GPS systems of incoming planes, making the spoofing attack “suspiciously specific — another sign that it’s not a simple glitch but some kind of electronic weapon,” according to an analysis by the defense industry news site Breaking Defense.

According to a recent report by the Center for Advanced Defense Studies, Russia is capable of transmitting false GPS signals up to 500 times more powerful than the signals they are aimed at spoofing, which has resulted in civilian flights being led hundreds of miles off course.

One controversial theory to explain the 2014 disappearance of Malaysia Airlines Flight MH370, as The Inquisitr has reported, also blames possible Russian electronic spoofing of electronic data for the mystery of the flight’s seeming disappearance without a trace.