GNSS Spoofing Test Bed to be Developed
Friday, September 20, 2013

Spirent Communications, has teamed up with Qascom to develop a test tool that reproduces spoofing attacks in a controlled laboratory environment. They say that their collaborative solution will be launched commercially later in 2013.

The test bed will concurrently simulate legitimate GNSS constellations and spoofed or hoax signals. It will enable positioning systems manufacturers to improve their products’ resilience to hoax signals.

As GNSS becomes increasingly embedded in modern infrastructure for application timing and device positioning, the impact of spoofing attacks becomes greater. From mobile telephony to internet banking, GNSS timing signals are used in many key systems, and yet there is no requirement on GNSS equipment to demonstrate any degree of robustness to block or even detect malicious attacks that disrupt performance.

“There is growing industry concern about the vulnerability of satellite navigation signals,” said John Pottle, Marketing Director of Spirent’s Positioning Division. “This will help the industry to create positioning systems that are more resilient to interference.”

Hoax or spoofing attacks work by mimicking genuine GNSS signals, which mislead GNSS receivers. Often affected receivers do not recognize when they are receiving fake signals and continue to operate normally, but provide false time or position information. This new test tool helps to develop systems that will detect and counter spoofing attacks by providing a fully controllable laboratory based, non-radiated test solution to evaluate a receiver’s response to a range of spoofing attacks.

The test tool controls the emulation of signals representing both the genuine GNSS signals and the false signals. This allows users to simulate a wide range of sophisticated attacks and monitor the response of the receiver under attack to then improve the resilience of the design against such attacks.

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