Johns Hopkins Researchers and OnBoard Security Team Up to Protect Drones

March 6, 2018

OnBoard Security™, a leader in Internet of Things (IoT) security, announced today that a graduate student team at the Johns Hopkins University Information Security Institute (JHUISI) has successfully demonstrated the protection of Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs), aka Drones, from cyber-attacks. OnBoard Security collaborated with the research effort providing mentoring, industry insight, and the use of their Aerolink® communication security libraries.  This is the first implementation of Aerolink outside of the automotive industry. 

With increasing automation and widespread use of UAVs, potential cyber-attacks on aerial fleets are already a major concern.  The Johns Hopkins project aims at implementing a secure Sense and Avoid (SAA) system to avoid collisions in real-time using cryptographically-augmented Automatic Dependent Surveillance - Broadcast (ADS-B) messages.  Without cryptographic protections, such as those provided by Aerolink security libraries, current UAV’s are vulnerable to packet forging, replay, message modification and Man-in-the-Middle (MITM) attacks.   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,” explained 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.”

The full paper can be found here.