Cybersecurity of Maritime Communication Systems : Spoofing attacks against AIS and DSC

University essay from Linköpings universitet/Databas och informationsteknik

Abstract: For a long time, ships have relied on navigators that could figure out their course andlocation based on seeing objects around them. However, this approach is limited to thenavigators’ ability, and with the increasing number of ships, this job becomes harder andharder. With these aspects in mind, the new system, the Automatic identification system(AIS), was created as a tool to help navigators to navigate and increase safety on the sea.AIS is an automatic identification system and is designed to send out information aboutthe vessel and its location. This thesis looks at the state of the art of Automatic identifica-tion systems and Digital selective calling systems to evaluate the security aspects of thesesystems. The thesis aims to investigate if these two systems are susceptible to spoofingattacks and what resources are required for creating successful attacks. Two experimentswere used to achieve this aim and answer the research questions. The first one was to eval-uate the Automatic identification system and test different spoofing attacks on that system.The second experiment was to test different spoofing attacks on the Digital selective callingsystem. Both of these experiments used two software-defined radios for the experiments.The experiment results show that some of the attacks tested on the systems were success-ful, and the attacks tested were successfully executed against the created system. Theseattacks were created and performed using two software-defined radios to send and receivemessages. To conclude, the two systems are susceptible to spoofing attacks. However, anattacker can gain the necessary information to create spoofing attacks on the systems, withvarying consequences and some limitations.

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