An U.S. drone was forced to land on Iran by Iranian hackers. They used a software which spoofed the GPS co-ordinates. As a result, the drone landed on the area designated by the hackers.
The GPS system of the RQ-170 Sentinel was altered without cracking the remote-control signals or co mmunication. A fake GPS co-ordinate was fed to the drone. The drone took the precise landing co-ordinates. This technique is called spoofing. It is considered to be much more elegant than network jamming attacks.
An Iranian Engineer who examined the drone told the newspaper-"The GPS navigation is the weakest point. By putting noise jamming on the communications, you force the bird into autopilot. This is where the bird loses its brain"
Former U.S. Navy electronic warfare specialist Robert Densmore said-"Even modern combat-grade GPS is very susceptible to manipulation, it is certainly possible to recalibrate the GPS on a drone so that it flies on a different course. I wouldn't say it's easy, but the technology is there."
The vulnerability was known to military officials since 2003. U.S. officials rather blamed some malfunctions for the occurrence. The Iranians are continuing their research on the captured drone to pin-point the vulnerability.