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Open AccessArticle

A Triggering Mechanism for Cyber-Attacks in Naval Sensors and Systems

1
Naval War College, Brazilian Navy, Rio de Janeiro 22290-255, Brazil
2
Naval Systems Analysis Centre, Brazilian Navy, Rio de Janeiro 20091-000, Brazil
3
Ocean Technology Laboratory—LabOceano/COPPE, Federal University of Rio de Janeiro, Rio de Janeiro 21941-907, Brazil
4
Institute of Computing, Fluminense Federal University, Niterói 24210-310, Brazil
5
National Institute of Metrology, Quality and Technology, Duque de Caxias 25250-020, Brazil
6
Admiral Wandenkolk Instruction Center, Brazilian Navy, Rio de Janeiro 20180-003, Brazil
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
This paper is an extended version of our paper published in: Leite Junior, W.C.; de Sá, A.O. Triggering Cyber-electronic Attacks in Naval Radar Systems. In Proceedings of the 2020 IMEKO TC-19 International Workshop on Metrology for the Sea (MetroSea 2020), Naples, Italy, 5–7 October 2020.
Academic Editors: Giorgio Budillon and Salvatore Gaglione
Sensors 2021, 21(9), 3195; https://doi.org/10.3390/s21093195
Received: 20 March 2021 / Revised: 17 April 2021 / Accepted: 29 April 2021 / Published: 4 May 2021
In the maritime sector, the integration of radar systems, Automatic Identification System (AIS) and Electronic Chart Display and Information System (ECDIS) through digital technologies enables several benefits to maritime operations, but also make ships prone to cyberattacks. In this context, this work investigates the feasibility of an attacker using a radar system or AIS as open door to remotely send commands to a cyber threat hosted on a ship, even if the ship’s systems are air gapped—i.e., are not connected to other networks. The received commands are intended to trigger a cyber threat located in the ship. Although the literature covers several analyzes on cyber risks and vulnerabilities in naval systems, it lacks exploiting mechanisms capable of acknowledging attack commands received through radar and AIS. To this end, this work proposes a triggering mechanism that uses a template matching technique to detect specific patterns transmitted by the attacker to the ship’s radar or AIS. The results show the effectiveness of the proposed technique as a tool to acknowledge the received attack commands and activate a malicious code previously installed on the ship. In the case of attacks on a radar system, the accuracy achieved by the proposed method is 0.90. In the case of attacks on an AIS/ECDIS setup it presents an accuracy of 0.93. In both cases the proposed mechanism maintains the due safety against accidental attack activations. View Full-Text
Keywords: cybersecurity; radar; automatic identification system; electronic chart display and information system; electronic attack; template matching cybersecurity; radar; automatic identification system; electronic chart display and information system; electronic attack; template matching
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MDPI and ACS Style

Leite Junior, W.C.; de Moraes, C.C.; de Albuquerque, C.E.P.; Machado, R.C.S.; de Sá, A.O. A Triggering Mechanism for Cyber-Attacks in Naval Sensors and Systems. Sensors 2021, 21, 3195. https://doi.org/10.3390/s21093195

AMA Style

Leite Junior WC, de Moraes CC, de Albuquerque CEP, Machado RCS, de Sá AO. A Triggering Mechanism for Cyber-Attacks in Naval Sensors and Systems. Sensors. 2021; 21(9):3195. https://doi.org/10.3390/s21093195

Chicago/Turabian Style

Leite Junior, Walmor C.; de Moraes, Claudio C.; de Albuquerque, Carlos E.P.; Machado, Raphael C.S.; de Sá, Alan O. 2021. "A Triggering Mechanism for Cyber-Attacks in Naval Sensors and Systems" Sensors 21, no. 9: 3195. https://doi.org/10.3390/s21093195

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