Multi-Channel Joint Signal Quality Monitor Method for Detecting GNSS Time Synchronization Attacks

Weiyu Gao, Hong Li, Mingquan Lu

Abstract: Time Synchronization Attack (TSA) is a typical kind of GNSS spoofing, which can deceive receivers with fake GNSS signals. Different from other kinds of spoofing, TSA only aims at timing receivers whose positions are always unchanging and easy to acquire. So that TSA signals may be more difficult to defend as more sophisticated spoofing is realizable when attackers get the static victim position. Therefore, specialized anti-TSA methods are necessary to maintain the safety of timing receivers. And among different kinds of TSA detections, those that can be applied in a single receiver and do not require any additional facilities are widely accepted for being easy to popularize. Hence, in this paper, we come up with such a TSA detection and discrimination method by proposing a tailored Signal Quality Monitor (SQM) method, the Multi-Channel Joint SQM. This method can detect the abnormal synchronicity of distortions of different correlation peaks in different receiving loops. And this abnormal synchronicity is proved to be inevitable for TSA as long as it wants to meet the basic constraints, providing correct positions and avoiding sudden timing jumps. Thus, by jointly monitoring different correlation peaks, the proposed method can greatly improve the detection performance against TSA and provide further spoofing discrimination ability. Besides, as a kind of SQM, the proposed method can work as soon as the spoofing begins to seize receiving channels, thereby alerting the victim promptly. And in this paper, these aforementioned anti-TSA abilities are verified on a self-designed real-world test-bed. From experiment results in five different TSA conditions, the proposed method is believed to provide reliable detection and discrimination when the spoofing power advantage is lower than 8dB, while higher spoofing power is too conspicuous for stealthy TSA. And the proposed method can be more practical by combining it with a simple signal power meter. Moreover, further experiments show that the proposed method outperforms off-the-shelf SQM methods in TSA conditions.
Published in: Proceedings of the 34th International Technical Meeting of the Satellite Division of The Institute of Navigation (ION GNSS+ 2021)
September 20 - 24, 2021
Union Station Hotel
St. Louis, Missouri
Pages: 4274 - 4287
Cite this article: Gao, Weiyu, Li, Hong, Lu, Mingquan, "Multi-Channel Joint Signal Quality Monitor Method for Detecting GNSS Time Synchronization Attacks," Proceedings of the 34th International Technical Meeting of the Satellite Division of The Institute of Navigation (ION GNSS+ 2021), St. Louis, Missouri, September 2021, pp. 4274-4287.
https://doi.org/10.33012/2021.18131
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