Tech Today w/ Ken May

Archive for October 2nd, 2017

Russia Suspected In GPS-Spoofing Attacks On Ships

Posted by kenmay on October - 2 - 2017

How did a 37-ton tanker suddenly vanish from GPS off the coast of Russia? AmiMoJo shares a report from Wired: The ship’s systems located it 25 to 30 miles away — at Gelendzhik airport… The Atria wasn’t the only ship affected by the problem… At the time, Atria’s AIS system showed around 20 to 25 large boats were also marooned at Gelendzhik airport. Worried about the situation, captain Le Meur radioed the ships. The responses all confirmed the same thing: something, or someone, was meddling with the their GPS… After trawling through AIS data from recent years, evidence of spoofing becomes clear. GPS data has placed ships at three different airports and there have been other interesting anomalies. “We would find very large oil tankers who could travel at the maximum speed at 15 knots, ” said a former director for Marine Transportation Systems at the U.S. Coast Guard. “Their AIS, which is powered by GPS, would be saying they had sped up to 60 to 65 knots for an hour and then suddenly stopped. They had done that several times”… “It looks like a sophisticated attack, by somebody who knew what they were doing and were just testing the system…” says Lukasz Bonenberg from the University of Nottingham’s Geospatial Institute. “You basically need to have atomic level clocks.” The U.S. Maritime Administration confirms 20 ships have been affected — all traveling in the Black Sea — though a U.S. Coast Guard representative “refused to comment on the incident, saying any GPS disruption that warranted further investigation would be passed onto the Department of Defence.” But the captain of the 37-ton tanker already has his own suspicions. “It looks like the Russians define an area where they don’t want the GPS to apply.” Read more of this story at Slashdot.

Categories: reader

Laser Light Forges Graphene Into the Third Dimension

Posted by kenmay on October - 2 - 2017

Big Hairy Ian quotes New Atlas: The wonder material graphene gets many of its handy quirks from the fact that it exists in two dimensions, as a sheet of carbon only one atom thick. But to actually make use of it in practical applications, it usually needs to be converted into a 3D form. Now, researchers have developed a new and relatively simple way to do just that, using lasers to ‘forge’ a three-dimensional pyramid out of graphene… By focusing a laser onto a fine point on a 2D graphene lattice, the graphene at that spot is irradiated and bulges outwards. A variety of three-dimensional shapes can be made by writing patterns with the laser spot, with the height of the shape controlled by adjusting the irradiation dose at each particular point. The team illustrated that technique by deforming a sheet of graphene into a 3D pyramid, standing 60 nm high. That sounds pretty tiny, but it’s 200 times taller than the graphene sheet itself. “The beauty of the technique is that it’s fast and easy to use, ” says one of the researchers. “It doesn’t require any additional chemicals or processing.” Read more of this story at Slashdot.

Categories: reader