Defending the ‘invisible utility’ of GPS

On the subject of threats on essential infrastructure, essentially the most disruptive may be any interruption of GPS or place, navigation and timing (PNT) companies as a result of all 16 sectors – to not point out area and navy functions – depend on these timing and navigation companies.

The Division of Transportation is the lead civilian company working with the Protection Division to modernize GPS and develop a backup system in case satellites stop working or adversaries jam or spoof alerts – particularly these across the timing information it offers. 

The nation should be ready not only for disruption of GPS alerts, however for the cascading results that disruption would have throughout sectors, mentioned DOT Director for Positioning, Navigation, and Timing and Spectrum Administration Karen Van Dyke.

Talking on the 2021 Sea Air House convention, Van Dyke mentioned GPS synchronization offers an “invisible utility” and warned of adversaries not solely jamming GPS alerts, but additionally spoofing GPS measurements and information.

“In measurement spoofing, as soon as the sign goes away, the receiver recovers. With information spoofing, the consequences may very well be long-lasting and the receiver might by no means get better,” she mentioned.

To make sure the safety and reliability of GPS, Van Dyke mentioned her workplace “actually embrace[s] what we confer with because the PTA principal: defend, toughen and increase.” Which means monitoring to detect interference and repair disruptions.

Van Dyke mentioned her workplace can also be focusing “on authentication — guaranteeing that the sign that you just’re seeing in case you’re utilizing GPS or another PMT expertise is actually coming from supposed supply.”

To assist defend PNT companies, businesses and companies ought to take a step again and take into consideration their operational necessities and what applied sciences can meet these wants.

That will imply “not routinely integrating a GPS receiver as a result of it is low value and it is accessible in every single place, however considering by means of what vulnerabilities may be launched into your community due to limitations we have recognized with GPS,” she mentioned.

One other potential vulnerability lies in spectrum administration.

“GPS depends on radio frequency spectrum that completely should be protected against dangerous interference,” Van Dyke mentioned. “We’re doing every part we will to guard it from licensed sources of interference … however we will’t management unauthorized sources of interference” that jam and spoof alerts.

“Till we will transfer to a world the place we actually are resilient, we’ve got to know our vulnerabilities and the quantity of danger and disruption we will tolerate,” she mentioned.

“And if you cannot stay with that reply, what are you going to do about it?”

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.