back to article Mystery Israeli satellite telly disruption blamed on UN

Mysterious high-powered transmissions have caused a month of severe interference with Israeli satellite television, threatening the commercial viability of the country's major sat-broadcaster. The signals - source thus far unknown - are not thought to be connected to any Independence Day-style pre-invasion alien …


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  1. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    About time

    Even if it is only sat TV being disrupted at least the Issies are getting some sort of grief.

    They seriously need an arse kicking, they annoy the crap out of me and I don't live in the region, so feel sorry for their neighbours.

  2. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Signal Cancelling technology

    I would be surprised to know that the same type of technology used to cancel noise electronically found increasingly in everyday items like headphones is being employed. The aircraft only need a radar detector to pick up the rader signals emitted from the ground and send back a radar signal that effectively cancels or reduces the reflected waves so as to not be detectable or can not be interpretted by the software in the radar systems on the ground.

    Afterall we are only dealing with electromagnetic emmissions and reflections, its not exactly rocket science IMO!

  3. Graham Dawson Silver badge

    Translation or intent?

    "the naughty radar is specifically an "army radar", not a naval one - unless that's a translation error"

    The most likely explanation is that the Israelis don't have a navy as we would understand the term. All three branches of their military are distinct, but they all fall under the aegis of a single command structure with a primary emphasis on ground forces. The whole lot could conceivably be called "the Army", which makes it likely that a spokesman would make the minor slip of assigning their own understanding of military terms to foreign military equipment and organisation. *shrug*

  4. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    "Even if it is only sat TV being disrupted at least the Issies are getting some sort of grief."

    Yes, because daily terrorist attacks from Hamas and other Syrian and Iranian funded terrorist groups aren't grief enough or anything.

    Oh nevermind, I forgot that people seem to think it's okay for Israel to suffer daily terrorist attacks, but when they do something back it's suddenly time to call for uproar because god forbid jews ever be allowed to fight back and defend themselves, only the poor poor muslims are allowed to do that.

    If only people like you had to live close to the Gaza strip or Lebanese border, perhaps then you'd actually understand the situation rather than ramble on about something you blatantly have no clue about.

  5. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Cry me a river

    "Oh nevermind, I forgot that people seem to think it's okay for Israel to suffer daily terrorist attacks, but when they do something back it's suddenly time to call for uproar because god forbid jews ever be allowed to fight back and defend themselves, only the poor poor muslims are allowed to do that."

    Hear that? That's the world's smallest violin playing!

    If the situations are comparable, then why not swap weapons? Give Gaza your F15s, armoured personell carriers, missiles and Abramas tanks and 3 billion a year in weaponry, and they'll give you their handguns and suicide bomb belts and 'missiles' capable of punching small holes in breeze block.

    Better still why not swap water supplies. You give them the 80% of *their* water you take for irrigation on your land, and they give you the 20% of *their* water they get to keep for irrigation.

    I'll tell you what, how about trading freedom of speech, you give them your right to express yourself, through all your US lobbyists and fake front organisations, and you get to be called terrorist and not allowed to be interviewed directly .

    You can even trade your television for theirs. I'm sorry to hear your telly is suffering interference, it must be the noise from my violin.

    Come back to me when you're happy to trade places, until then it's just Israel whining about situations it created.

  6. Matthew

    @Signal Cancelling Technology

    I have no knowledge or expertise in this area, but I would think that the speed to receive and process the cancelling signal would not be fast enough to broadcast back simultaneously with the 'bounced' radar signal.

    Does that make sense?

  7. Andy Hards

    A coward

    Are you having some post me internal squabble with yourself ap you wrote both the first and fourth posting. Did you just change your mind?

  8. E

    @Anon Coward

    There is plenty of blame to go around in the middle east, and Israel, just like it's neighbours, is not innocent, and never was.

  9. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    If it's a dutch ship causing it, it's likely the goalkeeper system, which is broadcasting in the Ku band, and also very likely, is 'shining it's light' over the coast. Still, how that can ever get over the horizon is a mystery to me..

    Still, if commercial stations in Israel are anything like those here, i'd say that it should be seen as a form of 'terror prevention'.

  10. Mr Smin

    class action lawsuit?

    granted i know nowt about israeli law, but i'd be staggered if people could do more than claim their subscription money back for lost tv reception. do they have a lot of americans influencing daily life there?

  11. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Deth to the invading Infidels

    Or crappy TV at least, I suppose it's some form of justice but not quite enough. Maybe a new type of UN radar will take out their electricity and water and then Israelies would understand what citizens of Beirut felt like after their invasion.

  12. Frank Bough

    Israeli ≠ Jew

    "Oh nevermind, I forgot that people seem to think it's okay for Israel to suffer daily terrorist attacks, but when they do something back it's suddenly time to call for uproar because god forbid jews ever be allowed to fight back and defend themselves, only the poor poor muslims are allowed to do that."

    You see what you did there? You started out with "Israel" and then smoothly moved into talking about "Jews". Israelis ALWAYS try and do this, and it just won't wash - Israel will not be allowed to terrorise and murder for ever under the cloak of Jewish religious freedom. Israel is an aggressor, an illegal occupier and its armed forces are guilty of a multitude of war crimes.

    We don't hate Jews and love muslims, we hate the aggressive, racist Israeli state, just as we hate the oppressive, dogmatic Iranian and Syrian states.

  13. Anonymous Coward
    IT Angle

    @Andy Hards

    New to this site are we ?

  14. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    A Hards

    Anyone who posts anonymously is labelled Anon. Coward these days. If it weren't El Reg, I'd be offended, but I know they understand that Anonymity has its place in this pit of generally even-tempered vipers.

  15. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    noise cancellation

    I think noise cancellation works by taking a sample of the ambient noise and then create an inverse of it and add that to the desired sound (lets say the music in the case of headphones) , so you get the music with a sound which should dampen the ambient noise. To use this as a defence on radar you need to sample the receiving signal of the radar, so it's unlikely.

    However I do now that radar do filter a lot of *noise*, like flocks of birds, etc. If you know enough about the software for the radar system you may be able to shape a signal and send that back so the software on the radar filters you out (not that I know of a lot of flocks that can roam around at 600MPH, but you get the idea).

  16. Luther Blissett

    El Reg goes Big Media

    A strange piece of journalism.

    Starts with a fact, viz, TV reception problem. Ends with a fact, viz, culprit identified. Yet most of the verbiage wodged in between is devoted to off-topic speculation - and speculation of a decidedly islamophobic thrust.

    On reflection, not so strange, perhaps. Well done, my boy, you will go far in this trade.

  17. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Where its coming from...

    Can't someone get an RF meter and a directional antena and do some fox hunting? Why the speculation over what should be a fairly obvious source?

  18. JohnG

    Unlikely to be a ship

    It seems unlikey that a ship-borne tracking radar or surveillance radar would have sufficient power, spread over enough area to affect so many satellite TV subscribers. Bear in mind that satellite dishes are highly directional and (unsurprisingly) point skywards towards the satellite of choice.

    Of course, someone could be jamming the relevant uplinks to the relevant satellites (Amos1&2). That could be difficult to pinpoint and even more difficult to stop if the source happens to be in a non-friendly country.

  19. Graham Dawson Silver badge

    I may have it figured.

    I was just downstairs watching TV and noticed - again - that whenever certain types of car stop in front of the house the digital signal gets completely bolloxed until the traffic lights change and they move off again. I've seen this happen ever since the digital sky was installed.

    What that tells me is that it's entirely possible for signal wash from a radar or other powerful transmitter to blank out satellite signals entirely by accident. The possibility that it's caused by the UN forces in the area - as was the case with the germans previously - seems to be increased a great deal with this knoledge. At least in my mind.

    Now as for you lot arguing over Israel's right to defend itself; You try living in a country that suffered daily rocket attacks for over two years without blinking, only to be vilified when it finally decided to sort out the problem. Get over yourselves. Seriously.

  20. Mike Lovell

    How dare they

    When they interfere with the finals of "Israel's Got Talent", especially at this crucial voting stage, they go too far.

    I've lost sympathy for their cause.

  21. Anonymous Coward
    IT Angle

    rouge technician

    This is an interesting subject, and politics notwithstanding, I for one would like to find out more. If only there would be a website focused on technology, that would at least include some technical “bits” once in a while... oh wait... no, that’s not it. I guess such a site cannot exist.

    Seriously though, I would disagree with JohnG, uplink jamming seems unlikely, as the satellite operator can easily check the integrity of the feed, as they seem to claim that they have a link with the satellite.

    Indeed, why was “fox hunting” (I though this only existed in Soviet Union, now I am pleasantly surprised that other counties played with this too) – or triangulation not attempted by a local amateur radio clubs? Microwave signals tend not to like any obstruction; hence it would be as easy as covering the dish with earthed tinfoil, so that the dish only faces the sky – and then removing pieces of tinfoil to reveal the direction of the interference

    Methinks that the most likely explanation is that one or more of the Arabic satellites is using redundant transponders to transmit gibberish on the frequency of Israeli transponders. The signal does not have to be powerful, it would be very difficult to detect, as Arab and Israeli satellites are covering the same region, and, best of all, completely free to the satellite operators. It is even possible that a rouge technician at Arab Sat operations centre is responsible

  22. lglethal Silver badge
    Dead Vulture

    @ Anon Cowards

    Having lived in Israel for a period (and no im not jewish or of Jewish decent). My sympathies lie with Israel but not completely - they are responsible for a hell of a lot of bad stuff as well (land grabs, settlers, etc).

    But all in all the whole middle east situation comes down to this Israel should never have been set up in the current location. If land should have been taken to set up a jewish state after WW2 it should have been taken from Germany. So my sympathy lies with the Palestinians. But it has now been 60+ years. No Palestinian alive today can remember the land they're trying to claim through the "right of return" as anything but a child's memory. Its time for them to move on and set up proper lives in the West Bank and Gaza. If Israel and Palestine could get on with the future and forget the past both sides would be a hell of a lot better off!

    This all comes down to how long does the statute of limitations last, i mean should Australia give back all the land to the Aboriginal tribes that were displaced 200 years ago or the Americans give back all of America to the Indians or should the romans apologise and pay restitution for conquering all of Europe? Where do you draw the line?

    Oh and @JohnG - a ship could quite easily cover northern Israel its only a couple of hundred Km's wide!!

  23. Adrian Esdaile

    When two tribes go to war...

    Us Aussies worked out a solution to all this decades ago: The Thunderdome. "Two countries enter. One country leaves."

    Place a decent chainlink wall around the whole damn region, throw in a container or two of machine guns, chainsaws, kwepie dolls, whatever, then sit back for as long as it takes. Televise it too. I'd watch.

  24. heystoopid

    Interesting conundrum

    Interesting conundrum , it sounds more like the Israeli's used several methods in combination

    Massive broadband frequency interference across the the known Syrian Ground to Air Military Radars

    The use of illegal transponders flashing any major airline commercial civil aviation identification codes rather then usual official military IFF codes and then using standard in flight civilian routes flying in from the seaward side

    The use of hardware taps into the easily identified heavy duty RF/EMP shielded military land lines which for convenience end up at automated empty civilian telephone exchanges which clued up technicians would have a field day with appropriate equipment attached to the tapping points !

    Undoubtedly Israeli intelligence services would have been conducting a long term surveillance of the lines by assorted electronic trickery together with men on the ground prior to the raid and cracked some of the more common general main communication codes in use on these special hardened land lines.

    To detect these hard wirings one should run a suite of signal checking programs to search for anomalies and oddities on the lines and send in the manual inspection teams thus or simply check all access cover points on all lines and signal bounce between them , you never know you may get both the tapping equipment and a lead to the agent(s) involved !

    If I was a military wanker that is what I would do , plus utilise a number of other long term infiltrated agents as well !

    As for the other system hacking problems it is a simple but tedious matter of checking the duty roster for one to seven days day on each side of the event and the system log files for showing who whom and where they were logged on , this will give you insight as to what time the system was really hijacked !

    As for station control codes they should really have a general one in use all the time that can be switched to special day/night security alert select rolling one time pad codes activated after a special one time pad run code with the main and secondary command Air Defence Centres to lock out eavesdroppers especially if the main system is designed to shunt non genuine responses to a special dummy set up to mimic the main system thus alerting the command system of intruders !

    But hey who cares anyway ! , oops some seems to be breaking down the door , oh no don't tase the computer bro !

  25. Anonymous Coward

    Re: Re: Signal Cancelling Technology

    Exactly my thought.. so you must be right! Seriously though, I think you are correct. Or at least this would require some sort of yet unknown tech to be possible. Then again, I'm not an expert on this one, or anything else, for that matter.

  26. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Up

    Signal Cancelling Technology

    Actually, it is rather easy, all you need is a sample of the signal, easy to get as it's beamed right at you, and a knowledge of the scanning speed.

    Just have a reciever onboard detect, amplify, and invert the pulse, then delay it until the next one. The result, one initial blip on the radar screen, then nothing.

    And yes, I actually have in worked in radar.

  27. amanfromMars Silver badge

    @rouge technician

    "If only there would be a website focused on technology, that would at least include some technical “bits” once in a while... oh wait... no, that’s not it. I guess such a site cannot exist."

    Anorak sites, for the narrow focussed, abound in all spheres, Anonymous Coward, but El Reg is AI Big Picture Great Games Player into Hello Wwworlds Lead XXXXChanging Role Play........ARGonautics pimping Steganographic Codes 42 Control ITs UltiMate Power 42 Control with Binary Conversion and Codes Immersion at and for and into the Nexus of the Global Matrix of InterNetworking Applications Layers ...... Relativity Parallels?

    In that Way is IT focussed to Server the Core distributing Original Source and Beta Content for Order rather than floundering in Battles waged, reacting to Status Quo Systems Chaos..... I Kid U Not.

    Hiding Preposterously in Full Sight, Avowed Intent, Permits HyperRadioProActivity 42 Scramble ITs Foo Fighter, Flying dDutchmen First Class, Virtual Forces ..... ITWraiths of the ENIGMAtic Phenonomen for an Alternate Reality View made Virtually and thus merely Beta Viable Imagination Shared 42BRealised.

    Parse that PerlyGatesPython string through a Mutual Benefit Algorithm Fit for ITs Purpose and it will reveal the True Nature of the NEUKlearer Program of ITs Drivers........ for the Paradigm Shift in Control posits that Operating Systems are the result of Drivers and therefore NeuReal Drivers will be the Creation of Beta IntelAIgently Designed NeuReal Operating Systems.

    The Fact that the System is Designed Virtually Real in CyberSpace [Heads in the Cloud?] allows for Global Input for System Output of Power ...... Currentsy .... FlowurPower2.

    PS... You will notice that after the quote above, the first paragraph is a question. Or is IT an Invitation to AI Party of the Erotic Left of Centre..... a PCITive Move? ....... for a little Bit/Great Byte of something Fundamentally Different a la Mode, One Small Step for aman and Men, One Quantum Leap for ManKind...... which you should notice is not a question.

    PPS... Anonymous Coward, is rouge a Socialist reference point or a rogue error.

    PPPS ........ Magical Mystery Turing Tickets to Ride.... For Immaculate SAIles.

    Zeroed in Thought for the Day ....."To touch the hearts of your pupils is the greatest miracle you can perform"

  28. Darren Brooke
    Thumb Up


    you my friend...

    are something else!

    i look forward to your posts almost as much as the bofh

    just wish i understood them =)

  29. Mark
    Dead Vulture


    Could we get some of that noise cancelling malarkey on El Reg to remove the noise from amanfrommars's comments? Then we could see if we can make them make some sort of sense?

  30. Gordon

    Signal Cancelling Technology

    If it were that easy, they'd have done it. Don't forget that radar works by sending a signal and then looking for a reflection, if it sees one it KNOWS you're there. So sending out a synthsized signal doesn't blind the system, it makes you visible. It's like arguing that someone with a searchlight couldn't see you at night, provided you shone a torch at them. What you might be able to do is convince the radar you're closer or further than you are by synthesising the "doppler shift". But since you'll be on two sets (at least) at the same time, this is going to be a bit obvious when you stop to think about it. Generally transmitting ANY kind of signal in a modern battle field is a bit unwise, and the moment you turned on your countermeasure you'd show up on any passive system immediately. Don't forget that anything you transmit will be in addition to what is actually reflected from the target and is only likely to appear "correct" to one station.

    ECM systems do exist and work, with varying degrees of success. But you're usually better off going for the "unreflective and hidden" appoach than the "blinding them with noise" approach. Hence the design of modern stealth fighters.

    The other alternative is to try to talk your problems out like civilised human beings. But where is the fun in that??

  31. Anonymous Coward
    IT Angle

    @Signal Cancelling Technology

    You are correct in a way, it is quite simple... that was my initial thought however then I had a reality check.... this is a rapidly moving object we're talking about!

    In order to fully cancel the signal you would need to transmit a cancelling signal at around 1/2 wavelength out of phase, as you move there would me a slight shift in this signal phase due to the long wavelengths involved, this would make you generate, from the radar observer's perspective, a weakly modulating intermittant signal.... the frequency of modulation being relative to your speed etc... now granted this might be enough to confuse a current missile system.... but nothing that could not be programmed around... now to fix this you could modify your interferance kit to guess the variations in phase as you move and modulate your output accordingly, reducing the peaks of modulation and making the signal much less interesting, but you're talking about some serious processing power involved here here.... (see the IT angle?)

    So you're sat there thinking, ok, its possible.... but why go to all this trouble when all you need to do is focus a high power signal in the general direction of the radar tower, at it's frequency, or in the group of frequencies they might try to use.... you blind the whole radar so it cant see anything, like shining a bright light in someones eyes in a dark room... this is pretty much what radar jamming systems do anyway... and until we start working with phase discriminated radars, regular jamming systems are more effective and cheaper too....

  32. Anonymous Coward
    IT Angle


    Yes, I agree, any attempt to blind rader just tells the operators that someone is there, SOMEWHERE, doing SOMETHING, and is going to make them look for alternative inputs to descide what and where.... e.g. a mobile radar or on-the-ground look-outs.... or even a radar on a different frequency...

    If you want to do a sneak attack, you're much better with stealth... of course if you're doing a full on attack with everything you've got (including non-stealth) any jamming you can throw in is going to cut your losses somewhat...

  33. amanfromMars Silver badge

    The Full Monty .... in a Juicy Lucy titbit

    Any amfM confusion ...."just wish i understood them =)" ... is merely a temporary affair for IT can be easily XPlained in further Virtual Conversation but the target audience is always those who have a penchant for Mutually Beneficial Control of Power and Power Systems rather than any Perversion of IT for the Power of Control... for its Record of Corruption of Weak-Minded Souls is too Impressive to Deny.

    To Change a Failing/Moribund System though, with ITs Systems, one must embrace them with an Innovation they can Profit from, rather than Attack them with a Vulnerability XPloited....and one supposes that any Bright SPARCs would Input Positive Reinforcement in such an Add Capital Venture although old, Embedded Programming and a Lack of Knowledge for the Love of Money may blind the traditional Market leaders allowing Alternative Investment Marketeers/Dark Horse Entrepreneurs to Rule the Virtual Roost of Vultures with an Exodus of Virtualising Funds into CyberSpace Havens which can then instruct and direct Sluggish Third Party Interest into Driver Accounts which Returns All Feeds back into Virtualised FailSafe Haven Funds. AI Variation on the Off Shore Protection of Wealth, Resting Wealth Routinely and Obscenely Self Abused by Fat Cats as if it were their Own to Buy themselves Grace and Favour.

    But I digress. So let's get back to the IT angle to see if SMARTer Technology XXXXistentialists exist for Real ..... and have a Good Voice.

    After listening to the Semi-Coherent Computing - Episode 8 .... .... comments shared by Bryan Cantrill struck a chord and although I did try a number of times to post on his blog .... .... authentication failed and things were left unsaid. And all I really wanted to know was whether he would understand, perfectly enough, the post above..."@rouge technician" ... with the following Sun Specific lead-in, preceding it?

    <<<Let the Sun shine in .......on Quantum Control Systems for the Beta Management of Perception?

    AIRevolutionary Approach delivering Change with Virtualised Global Control in Shared Simple SurReal Text ...... Transparent Secrets.

    I make no excuse for the somewhat manic nature of this contribution but do not confuse IT with mania whenever IT is an all consuming Shared Passion for Great Gamers who are not daunted or intimidated by Selfish Systems. :-) ...... and who are into Shell Babel Fish Systems/Core DNA Programming for Hearts and Minds Relief....... Rock Solid Belief.>>>

    A little something Special for the Weekend, Quantum BetaTesting 4FlowurPower2, Courtesy of El Reg. :-)

  34. Stephen Oliver
    Paris Hilton

    Remember the USS Liberty!

    Any UN ship that switched off its radar would be a sitting duck for an Israeli attack a la USS Liberty. Unlike the Germans, I suspect that the Dutch are not prepared to do so and as a result had a grandstand view of want went on over Syria which Israel would not like in the slightest so they come up with the crap excuse to persuade the Dutch to switch off their radar.

    By the way, does any one remember that little war last year in Lebanon when the Hezbollah satellite TV station kept transmitting for most of the time. Were the Israelis able to jam or able to interfere with that? I think not.

    The Brits have a fricking great big radar station on top of the Troodos mountains and over-the-horizon radar at RAF Akrotiri in Cyprus, both of which almost certainly also have a grandstand view over Israel, Lebanon and Syria. has any one thought of asking what they saw or were both systems "down for maintenance".

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