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How to stop cyberattacks on GPS-enabled devices

By Tim Sandle     Mar 30, 2018 in Technology
San Antonio - Technologists have devised a new technique designed to prevent cyberattacks on GPS-enabled devices. GPS, especially for utilities, remains one of the higher risk technologies in terms of cybersecurity.
Researchers from the University of Texas at San Antonio have undertaken a study that examines how a computer algorithm can mitigate the effects of spoofed GPS attacks targeted at electrical grids together with other GPS-reliant technologies. The new algorithm has the capability for assisting cybersecurity professionals to mopre accurately detect and prevent cyberattacks. Importantly the information used as part of these preventive measures is based on real time data collection and analysis.
According to one of the lead developers, Dr. Nikolaos Gatsis: "Malicious agents have the ability to disrupt a device's understanding of time and location by emitting a signal that is pretending to be a GPS signal. This can be very harmful in several different realms of technology."
Many utilities are reliant upon GPS, and this brings with it vulnerabilities to malicious attack. Moreover, GPS itself is considered to be a public utility of equal importance to gas and electricity supplies. Moreover, it is being increasingly used by transport and financial markets.
How GPS works
How GPS works
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As an example, malicious cyberattackers could clone a GPS signal and display the wrong time or the wrong location, which would cause disruption, downtime and human risk. The new algorithm has the functionality to recognize fake GPS signals and counter an attack as it happens, in real time. The first use of the algorithm will be with defending the U.S. electrical grid.
The development of the algorithm has been described in the journal IEEE Transactions on Industrial Electronics. The research paper is headed: "Real-Time Rejection and Mitigation of Time Synchronization Attacks on the Global Positioning System."
More about Cyberattack, Cybersecurity, GPSenabled devices, Gps
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