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Researchers develop cybersecurity system to test for vulnerabilities in technologies that use GPS

Researchers develop cybersecurity system to test for vulnerabilities in technologies that use GPS

Southwest Research Institute has developed a cybersecurity system to test for vulnerabilities in automated vehicles and other technologies that use GPS receivers for positioning, navigation and timing.

“This is a legal way for us to improve the cyber resilience of autonomous vehicles by demonstrating a transmission of spoofed or manipulated GPS signals to allow for analysis of system responses,” said Victor Murray, head of SwRI’s Cyber Physical Systems Group in the Intelligent Systems Division.

GPS spoofing is a malicious attack that broadcasts incorrect signals to deceive GPS receivers, while GPS manipulation modifies a real GPS signal. GPS satellites orbiting the Earth pinpoint physical locations of GPS receivers embedded in everything from smartphones to ground vehicles and aircraft.

SwRI designed the new tool to meet United States federal regulations. Testing for GPS vulnerabilities in a mobile environment had previously been difficult because federal law prohibits over-the-air re-transmission of GPS signals without prior authorization.

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