Large Scale Collaborative Detection and Location of Threats in the Electromagnetic Space
As communication goes more and more wireless, it becomes increasingly important to guarantee that the radio communication infrastructure is protected against intruders. Battles occur often between army protecting the nation against attackers such as terrorist organizations, separatists, etc. Very often these battles occur in dense populated areas, and cities are the toughest battlefields, where attacks with commodity technologies can target any frequency of the spectrum. The proliferation of low-cost radio hardware makes not only the military frequencies but also the civilian frequencies in the spectrum prone to unauthorized use during a battlefield. This problem is exacerbated with the advent in the last years of software-defined radio (SDR) platforms available at affordable cost. Together with do-it-yourself (DIY) online instructions, SDR-based transceivers can perform highly sophisticated and difficult to detect attacks. Concrete examples are: i) an attacker that deploys a fake cellular tower, with consumer devices (smartphone, IoT sensors, etc.) that establish a connection to this tower. Consumer devices could be hijacked and sensitive information retrieved, ii) A suspicious transmitter that jams selected communications. Normal operation of the network could be impaired, which may have serious effects on a critical infrastructure, iii) an explosive material that is triggered remotely through wireless communication. In all the contexts, detecting the location of the attacker can allow actuators and decision makers taking effective actions.
Protecting the wireless infrastructure and detecting dangerous actions of attackers are deemed essential. In light of this problem, new technologies for detecting threats in the electromagnetic space must be devised to counteract possible catastrophic threats and take fast decisions. In this project, we propose to blend new, emerging and diverse disruptive technologies in order to provide accurate and fast detection, classification and location of intruders in the spectrum in the time, frequency and space domains. Potential stakeholders for the solutions devised in the project are, among others, cyber-defence operational units, owners of wireless network infrastructure, owners of commercial transport services that require transmitting information wirelessly. Using the innovative solutions that will be developed in the project, users will be able to significantly reduce the danger of threats and have access to advanced methodologies for swiftly taking the correct actions.