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Accurate positioning, navigation, and timing (PNT) is necessary for the functioning of many critical infrastructure sectors. Precision timing is particularly important and is primarily provided through the Global Positioning System (GPS). However, GPS’ space-based signals are low-power and unencrypted, making them susceptible to both intentional and unintentional disruption.
The increasing reliance on GPS for military, civil and commercial applications makes the system vulnerable, and determined GPS users must plan for potential signal loss and take reasonable steps to verify or authenticate the integrity of the received GPS data and ranging signal, especially in applications where even small degradations can result in loss of life. This according to President Donald Trump’s Space Policy Directive-7 (SPD-7) in January, which focuses on providing continuous access to U.S. space-based PNT services and improving the performance and cybersecurity of GPS.
The US Department of Homeland Security Science and Technology Directorate (DHS S&T) officials are espousing the benefits of resources designed to address GPS spoofing activity.
As part of industry engagement, DHS S&T has published the open source, free PNT Integrity Library and Epsilon Algorithm Suite to protect against Global Navigation Satellite System (GNSS) spoofing, or deceiving a GPS device through false signals. These resources advance the design of PNT systems and increase resilience of critical infrastructure to PNT disruptions.
“Since GPS signals can be jammed or spoofed, critical infrastructure systems should not be designed with the assumption that GPS data will always be available or will always be accurate,” Jim Platt, chief of Strategic Defense Initiatives at the Cybersecurity and Information Security Agency (CISA) National Risk Management Center, said. “Application of these tools will provide increased security against GPS disruptions. However, DHS also recommends a holistic defense strategy that considers the integrity of the PNT data from its reception through its use in the supported system,” he was cited by homelandprepnews.com.
The PNT Integrity Library is intended for GNSS receiver and GNSS-based timing server Original Equipment Manufacturers (OEMs) for use in future development or integration into existing products and platforms.
The Epsilon Algorithm Suite detects inconsistencies in position, velocity, and clock observables commonly provided by GPS receivers. It enables an end-user to have basic spoofing detection capabilities without any modifications to the existing GPS receiver.