May 22, 2024

Also in Lufthansa: Tel Aviv flights were actually rerouted to Beirut by pirates

Flights from Lufthansa and other airlines flying to Tel Aviv are frequently diverted to Lebanon – at least that's what Flightradar looks like.

Lufthansa flight LH686 from Frankfurt on 27 and 28 January and 10 February. LH680 from Munich on 8 January. Flight LO153 from Warsaw on February 13. El Al flight LY382 from Milan to January 7 and 8. All of these trips have two things in common.

First, their destination was Tel Aviv. On the other hand, the well-known flight tracking service Flightradar 24 shows that all of these flights were diverted to Beirut, Lebanon.

Details that make you suspicious

It is not unusual for flights to be diverted, for example due to bad weather or a technical fault. Given its geographical location, Beirut would also be a suitable alternative airport to Tel Aviv. But tensions between Israel and Lebanon, including mutual rocket fire with Hezbollah based there, make it unlikely that such a large number of flights will be diverted to Beirut.

If you take a closer look at the flight paths on Flightradar, you'll also notice other things that make you suspicious. On the one hand, there is no intermediate information, such as altitude, between the point at which the plane apparently changes course and the hypothetical arrival in Beirut. The plane also appears simply above the airport, rather than on the runway and then on the taxiway. In addition, no onward flights from Beirut to Tel Aviv appear – although return flights then take off from Tel Aviv as planned.

See also  Florian Anheuser moderates with reading glasses

Fake situations

Lebanese daily newspaper Lorient Le Jour It was already explained in January. It reported that flight display boards at Beirut airport had been hacked and offered criticism of Hezbollah. In this context, a source from the Lebanese Middle East Airlines told the newspaper that there had already been other acts of piracy – for example, virtual transfers to Beirut on the Flightradar website.

asked aeroTELEGRAPH. A Flightradar 24 spokesperson said: “Aircraft in the area are vulnerable to fairly strong GNSS interference, jamming and spoofing.” This may cause the aircraft to report false positions. GNSS stands for Global Navigation Satellite System, positioning and navigation satellite systems. During spoofing, data coming from these systems is specifically manipulated.

Flightradar is looking for a solution

“There have been several cases of fictitious situations regarding Beirut Airport,” the spokesperson says. “Our automated systems interpret these fake locations as landing events in Beirut and then automatically generate the ‘conversion’ in our service.” We are looking for ways to prevent this.

This is not the first time Flightradar has been tampered with. For example, in March 2022, after the start of the Russian attack on Ukraine, a circular flight path of an Antonov An-225 could be seen – which had already been destroyed on the ground. The call sign was FCKPUTIN as a message to the Russian President. Finally, a Frenchman admitted to tampering. He took advantage of the fact that the flight tracking service uses not only its own receiving stations on the ground, but also other people's receiving stations.

See also  Sewer Basin Fault - Florida declares an environmental emergency