A Proposal for Securing Terrestrial Radio-Navigation Systems

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Kor, Ronnie X.T.
Iannucci, Peter A.
Narula, Lakshay
Humphreys, Todd E.

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The security of terrestrial radio-navigation systems (TRNS) has not yet been addressed in the literature. This proposal builds on what is known about securing global navigation satellite systems (GNSS) to address this gap, re-evaluating proposals for GNSS security in light of the distinctive properties of TRNS. TRNS of the type envisioned in this paper are currently in their infancy, unburdened by considerations of backwards compatibility: security for TRNS is a clean slate. This paper argues that waveform- or signal-level security measures are irrelevant for TRNS, preventing neither spoofing nor unauthorized use of the service. Thus, only security measures which modify navigation message bits merit consideration. This paper proposes orthogonal mechanisms for navigation message encryption (NME) and authentication (NMA), constructed from standard cryptography primitives and specialized to TRNS: message encryption allows providers to offer tiered access to navigation parameters on a bit-by-bit basis, and message authentication disperses the bits of a message authentication code across all data packets, posing an additional challenge to spoofers. The implementation of this proposal will render TRNS more secure and resilient than traditional civil GNSS.



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Kor, Ronnie X.T., Peter A. Iannucci, Lakshay Narula, and Todd E. Humphreys, "A Proposal for Securing Terrestrial Radio-Navigation Systems," in Proceedings of the ION GNSS+ Meeting, Online, 2020.