Royal Navy warship AIS spoofing

August 2021

The locations of over 100 warships, including the Royal Navy's HMS Queen Elizabeth aircraft carrier strike group, have been manipulated and their positions falsified.

Researchers at environmental NGOs SkyTruth and Global Fishing Watch discovered that the automatic identification systems (AIS) of the warships had been altered in order to suggest they were located in places they were not, creating the risk of safety incidents and disinformation about warship operations.

Onboard AIS systems broadcast a ship's location, course and speed, and show the same data from other vessels.

Operator: Royal Navy
International Maritime Organization
Country: UK
Govt - defence
Purpose: Track vessel movements
Technology: AIS
Issue: Security; Safety; Mis/disinformation; Dual/multi-use