Antivirus for GPS spoofing and other vulnerabilities

The issue is that civilian GPS is, in many ways, a legacy system.
Written by Greg Nichols, Contributing Writer

GPS has become critical infrastructure in the modern age, relied on by ground, air, and sea vehicles for navigation. But vulnerabilities to satellite navigation, including spoofing and GPS manipulation, are a potential recipe for catastrophe.

Antivirus software may be a stopgap.

The issue is that civilian GPS is, in many ways, a legacy system.

"Twenty-year-old technology is still in use," Oleg Petrovsky of HPE Security research told Virus Bulletin in an interview about GPS threats. "The problem is that the civilian portion of it was not designed to deal with the current GPS threat landscape. It is important to realize how vulnerable GPS is to malicious attacks."

Among the vulnerabilities, spoofing and GPS modification are particularly harmful. GPS spoofing is an attack in which incorrect signals are broadcast to deceive receivers. GPS manipulation modifies existing GPS signals.

A company called Regulus Cyber has responded with an "antivirus" software to protect satellite navigation and timing across a wide range of applications, including automotive, mobile, IoT and critical infrastructure. But getting that software to customers, who use GPS across a range of devices and applications, is difficult. 

Instead, the company has chosen to partner with OEMs. In a ZDNet exclusive, we've learned Regulus Cyber is launching a collaboration with HARMAN for a software-based cybersecurity solution designed to protect GPS against potential threats. The solution will be part of HARMAN SHIELD, the company's offering for risk management to vehicle manufacturers and mobility companies. 

"We are looking forward to joining forces with HARMAN, a Tier 1 supplier to the automotive industry, a trusted partner to more than 50 global vehicle manufacturers. Coming together with HARMAN is a great testament to the necessity of GPS protection measures in our industry," says Yonatan Zur, CEO of Regulus Cyber.

The Regulus system is a software solution that uses machine learning to detect spoofing and defend any GNSS receiver, device, or chipset against it. GPS spoofing attacks are becoming more common and are often very difficult to detect and protect against.

Pyramid GNSS uses a combination of patented algorithms, developed over years of spoofing experiments to protect against attacks at the firmware, operating system, or application level. 

Ultimately, a healthy dose of awareness about GPS vulnerabilities is also essential to keep consumers safe. We tend to follow our GPS pretty blindly, after all.

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