The title pretty much says it all. I'm wondering if it is possible through "digital" means only (aka any physical disruption of satellites is not allowed) to disable the US GPS satellite constellation. Here are some additional details to help with answering:
- This would require that the GPS satellites have receivers that accept commands in some form. I'm guessing that such a setup is not necessary - technically all the satellites have to do is station keeping and signal broadcasting. I'm sure they could be completely automated and therefore may not have any remote control possibilities at all, making this impossible.
- However, I presume that they have some basic capabilities for two way communication to assist in the event of a malfunction, so that the satellite may be returned to service without a very expensive replacement. This part of the satellites is what I would be targeting.
- I presume that the satellites are not linked to each other in any way, and therefore disabling the network would require attacking each satellite individually
- I understand that the United States is not the only country that operates a global positioning system, and therefore that bringing down the US GPS system will not immediately disable all GPS devices globally. However, I am making the (rather narcissistic) assumption that the US system is supported by the majority of devices world-wide.
Therefore, a particularly helpful answer might aim to address these particular items:
- Do the GPS satellites even have the receiving capabilities that are a minimum requirement to make hacking even remotely feasible?
- Any information about the communication channels used for managing these (or similar) satellites and details about the software on the satellites, would earn extra bonus points! I presume many details are Top Secret in real life, so I'll accept anything that shows that such an attack may be plausible, even if it may not actually be possible.
- Presuming that hacking the satellites is not outright impossible, what level of resources would an attacker need to manage it simultaneously on a global scale? "Simultaneous" probably isn't realistic, so to pick a hard target, let's say that I want to get enough satellites "down" in 24 hours to make all consumer-grade GPS devices useless.
Please help me accomplish my evil goals! If the GPS on your phone stops working next month it's not my fault.