We have seen vessel tracks that appear in impossible places such as the Himalayan Mountains or over Antarctica. These spurious positions are reasonably common. We can’t say for sure whether the AIS has been tampered with – which we refer to as ‘location spoofing’ – or is faulty, but the errors have followed regular patterns—varying from a vessel’s true location by a constant amount, or flipping a coordinate from the Southern Hemisphere to the Northern Hemisphere. Once we identify the patterns, we can often correct apparently false locations. Note that the discrepancies between the alleged location and the location of the satellite which receives the signal are easy to spot.
Can vessels broadcast a false location in their AIS signals?Can vessels broadcast a false location in their AIS signals?