DHS Science & Technology Directorate Developing GPS Security Plan

Global positioning systems are subject to intentional and unintentional disruption, and the Department of Homeland Security’s Science and Technology Directorate is developing a multi-year mitigation plan with GPS companies in the private sector.

DHS S&T has hosted numerous events testing GPS jamming and spoofing with GPS equipment manufacturers and critical infrastructure owners and operators, including the 2018 GPS Equipment Testing for Critical Infrastructure (GET-CI) event at DHS procurement headquarters in June. 

“Many major critical infrastructure GPS equipment manufacturers attended this year’s S&T GET-CI event,” said Sarah Mahmood, DHS S&T program manager. “This made it a key engagement opportunity for the… program to both discover and cultivate working relationships with industry, and is a critical component of the program’s strategy for transition.”

The Total Horizon Nuller (THN) antenna, which was developed by the Homeland Security Systems Engineering and Development Institute and DHS S&T, is reportedly low-cost and is being used by three companies for commercialization.

“Some critical infrastructure operators have thousands of GPS antennas and receivers in their network,” Mahmood said. “Widely deploying a $10,000 antenna is impractical. This is especially true for the wireless communications sector, which deploys cell sites everywhere. But a low-cost antenna could be deployed at sites within the networks that need it.”

Find out ore about the program here

DHS S&T has also alerted critical infrastructure owners and operators and other users who obtain Coordinated Universal Time from GPS systems that the UTC clock will be reset on April 6, 2019

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Multimedia journalist James Cullum has reported for over a decade to newspapers, magazines and websites in the D.C. metro area. He excels at finding order in chaotic environments, from slave liberations in South Sudan to the halls of the power in Washington, D.C.

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