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Projects of the joint German-Austrian call 2013

Be-Aware - Threat analysis for Austria with respect to the vulnerability of GNSS

|   Call 2016

Intentional interference of GNSS may compromise a significant part of critical infrastructure in Austria. Therefore, in this project, an overview of the affected infrastructure shall be generated including potential threats.

Global Navigation Satellite Systems (GNSS) are used for positioning, navigation and timing in numerous applications. GNSS is widely used in critical infrastructure environments like timing of finance transactions, time synchronization of communication and power networks, navigation in aviation, but also in organizations like the Austrian Armed Forces. Due to the low signal strength of GNSS signals, the systems are very vulnerable with respect to cybercrime (e.g. jamming or spoofing) but also due to the illegal use of personal privacy devices (jamming of your own receiver). Since all GNSS systems like GPS (USA), Galileo (EU), GLONASS (Russia) etc. are using the same frequencies, all systems are expected to be affected the same way.

The aim of this project is to create an extensive overview of the critical infrastructures due to GNSS cybercrime in Austria including equipment of the Austrian Armed Forces and the Federal Ministry of the Interior. Be-Aware is a follow-up activity after demonstrating the possible impact on GNSS by jammers and spoofers within the current FFG ASAP12 project TACTIC. In order to make preparations to protect the critical infrastructures against cybercrime, one has to find out which of those is impacted by GNSS cybercrime. This information does not exist yet in any country in Europe. 

In order to assess the potential threat of an infrastructure, the direct consequences and social and economic consequences of e.g. no power supply or no mobile communication service have to be worked out. When estimating the probability of occurrence, it has to be known how serious the interference and jamming issue is. This information has not been created for Austria. 

Another important topic in this project is the demonstration of the threat. Therefore, a multi-GNSS spoofing demonstrator shall be implemented to show the potential threat of GNSS receivers. The project partners BMLVS and Wiener Netze will provide GNSS equipment to be tested.

The collected information like potential consequences including the estimated probability of occurrence and the amount of harm will be used to create a catalogue of GNSS threats for Austria where all gathered critical infrastructures are listed with its classification of threat. With the information collected by the consortium together with a specific GNSS operator of an infrastructure, the operator should be able to quantify the existing situation and should be able to decide if additional precautions to increase the safety of the GNSS infrastructure (special GNSS antennas, special receivers like PRS receivers, etc.) have to be made or not.

Project Leader
DI Roman Lesjak
Research Group Space and Communication Technology, Institute DIGITAL, JOANNEUM RESEARCH Forschungsgesellschaft mbH

Other Partners
Ministry of Defence
Wiener Netze GmbH
Department of Sociology, University of Graz

DI Roman Lesjak
Steyrergasse 17,
8010 Graz 
+43 316 876 5318