Johns Hopkins students use automated driving tech to protect UAS

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OnBoard Security, which describes itself as a leader in internet of things security, has announced that a graduate student team at the Johns Hopkins University Information Security Institute (JHUISI) successfully demonstrated the protection of UAS from cyber attacks.

OnBoard Security contributed to this research effort by providing mentoring, industry insight, and the use of its Aerolink communication security libraries. OnBoard Security says that this is the first implementation of Aerolink outside the automotive industry. 

According to OnBoard Security, potential cyber attacks on aerial fleets of UAS are a major concern, especially with UAS being used more and more, and with the increasing automation surrounding this technology.

With this in mind, the Johns Hopkins project seeks to implement a secure sense and avoid system to avoid collisions in real-time using “cryptographically-augmented Automatic Dependent Surveillance-Broadcast [ADS-B] messages.”

OnBoard Security says that without cryptographic protections, such as those provided by Aerolink security libraries, drones are vulnerable to a variety of threats, including packet forging, replay, message modification and “man-in-the-middle” attacks.

OnBoard Security says Aerolink provides message authentication and integrity checking to protect against all of these attacks.

“Aerolink is the leading security solution for vehicle-to-vehicle communications,” says Dr. Jonathan Petit, Senior Director of Research at OnBoard Security

“The well-thought-out security schemes designed for connected and autonomous vehicles utilizing high volumes of signed messages in a limited bandwidth environment makes Aerolink ideal for unmanned aircraft. The team at Johns Hopkins is leading the way to safer and more secure UAV operation through message authentication.”

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