Vulnerabilities in military dynamic spectrum access radio networks

Authors
  1. Watson, S.
  2. Willink, T.
Corporate Authors
Defence Research and Development Canada, Ottawa Research Centre, Ottawa ON (CAN)
Abstract
In this document, we discuss security vulnerabilities of dynamic spectrum access for military wireless networks. Spectrum management for Canadian Armed Forces operations is a time-consuming process, particularly when operating with partner nations, and there is often a scarcity of spectral resources. Introducing automation into the frequency planning process would help reduce the burden, and potentially make more efficient use of available spectrum. Dynamic spectrum access (DSA) is an approach that completely automates the process of frequency assignment, allowing the radio network itself to determine its frequency assignment, based upon its sensed input. Beyond its use in improving spectrum efficiency, DSA has been put forward in the scientific community as a means of mitigating the effects of an electronic warfare or cyber attack, as the network may evade an attacker by changing frequency assignments. This viewpoint must be balanced by an understanding that DSA protocols themselves may be manipulated, and that these protocols may rely on unclear user roles and privileges that can be exploited. We discuss new vulnerabilities DSA introduces to tactical networks, and the ways an adversary might manipulate the network’s own spectrum decision-making process to advance their own interests.

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Keywords
network security;tactical networks;dynamic spectrum access;DSA;cognitive radio;CR;spectrum management
Report Number
DRDC-RDDC-2019-R053 — Scientific Report
Date of publication
01 May 2019
Number of Pages
31
DSTKIM No
CA049383
CANDIS No
810156
Format(s):
Electronic Document(PDF)

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