It seems that lots of ships are effected, at least those in Shanghai. And it's a sophisticated attack"When it came time for the Manukai to head for its own berth, the bridge began echoing to multiple alarms. Both of the ship’s GPS units—it carried two for redundancy—had lost their signals, and its AIS transponder had failed. Even a last-ditch emergency distress system that also relied on GPS could not get a fix.Now, new research and previously unseen data show that the Manukai, and thousands of other vessels in Shanghai over the last year, are falling victim to a mysterious new weapon that is able to spoof GPS systems in a way never seen before.
Although the American ship’s GPS signals initially seemed to have just been jammed, both it and its neighbor had also been spoofed—their true position and speed replaced by false coordinates broadcast from the ground. This is serious, as 50% of all casualties at sea are linked to navigational mistakes that cause collisions or groundings.Click through for the whole article which includes a spectacular video of pedestrians scattering as a ship rams the riverbank promenade.
There's a lot of speculation about who is behind this and why. Interestingly, one of the suspects is black market sand dealers. Sand is a critical component of concrete and is in surprisingly short supply.
All I can say is that if this plays out as stated in the article, there are huge implications all over. Ship navigation may be the least of the problems.