Spirent launches SimSAFE to address GNSS signal vulnerability

New software, jointly developed by Spirent and Qascom, helps to design systems that will detect and counter spoofing attacks

Spirent launches SimSAFE to address GNSS signal vulnerability

Spirent Communications, the testing navigation and positioning systems provider, has introducted Spirent SimSAFE, a software solution designed to protect global navigation satellite systems (GNSS) from attack.

The solution concurrently simulates legitimate GNSS constellations and spoofed or hoax signals to evaluate equipment resilience and help develop counter-measures. It has been developed in conjunction with Qascom, a leading authority in GNSS signal security and authentication.

As GNSS become increasingly embedded in modern infrastructure for application timing and device positioning, the opportunities for interference and spoofing attacks become greater. Hoax or spoofing attacks work by mimicking genuine GNSS signals, which mislead GNSS receivers.

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.

Often affected receivers do not recognize when they are receiving fake signals and continue to operate normally, but provide false time or position information.

“GNSS signal vulnerability is becoming a significant issue,” said John Pottle, marketing director of Spirent’s Positioning Division. “SimSAFE is the first tool to help develop systems that will detect and counter spoofing attacks. This solution is unique in being able to provides a means of both emulating a spoof attack and of monitoring a receiver under attack to evaluate mitigation strategies and countermeasures.”

SimSAFE is a fully controllable laboratory based, non-radiated test solution to evaluate a receiver’s response to a wide range of spoofing attacks. The test tool controls the generation of spoof signals that can be aligned with genuine signals from an antenna or locally generated “genuine” signals using a Spirent GNSS simulator.

This allows users to simulate a wide range of sophisticated attacks, monitor the response of the receiver under attack and evaluate the effectiveness of proposed countermeasures to then improve resilience against such attacks.


Leave a Comment