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Geollect spoofing analysis featured by Cyber Owl

“Geolocation graffiti.”

The UK’s Ministry of Defence this morning pointed out a geolocation-spoofing stunt. “Analysis by Geollect indicates that since 14 May 2023, commercial vessels’ Automatic Identification System (AIS) data has been remotely spoofed to create the impression of a 65km long Russian pro-war Z symbol on the Black Sea, visible on open source tracking software. AIS is used to track vessels, including to ensure their safety. Tracks making up the image suggested vessel speeds of up to 102 knots (188 km/h), further suggesting they were fake. Pro-Russian actors likely conducted the spoofing as an information operation, potentially in an attempt to bolster Russian morale ahead of an anticipated Ukrainian counter-offensive. The spoofing of AIS increases the risk of maritime accidents. Despite Russian virtual information operations in the Black Sea, its physical navy remains vulnerable: the Ivan Khurs intelligence-gathering vessel was likely attacked on 24 May 2023.”

Geollect’s original alert.