Spoofing – testing the resilience of the AIS river system

AIS Spoofing

The second, extending part of the resilience testing experiment of AIS (Automatic Identification System) river system in the Czech Republic was focused exclusively on the verification of the system’s resistance to GNSS spoofing. Spoofing, as a complex and effective method of attack, that can fake and alter the authentic position of a GNSS receiver without the user’s knowledge, can be very dangerous and a sufficient amount of attention should be given to it.

The experiment was prepared in cooperation with ŘVC ČR (Waterways Directorate of the Czech Republic), thanks to which it was again possible to use a regular cruise line in a realistic environment on the Elbe river, and with a foreign partner Spirent Communications, which provided the necessary spoofer, programmed and prepared spoofing scenarios, participated in the experiment and operated the spoofer throughout the whole duration of the experiment. The testing took place on the 22nd of October, again on the Porta Bohemica vessel of the T91 line and on the same section of the Elbe river, between Roudnice nad Labem and Litoměřice.

The main objective of the experiment was to determine the possibility of performing a successful spoofing attack on the AIS system, both during static vessel mooring scenarios and during dynamic scenarios on its voyage. Another question was how would the spoofed position be reflected on the user interface of the AIS unit and further on the dispatch control systems. During the attacks carried out, the actual position of the device was spoofed several times using the transmitted spoofing signal and the preliminary results suggest that spoofing may be a real threat to AIS river systems. All measured and recorded data are currently being analysed more thoroughly and will be a part of the final deliverables of the GNSS vulnerability and mitigation project of the NAVISP Element III programme.

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