Blockchain could help fend off GPS spoofing

GPS spoofing is an issue that could have potentially major issues for air based transportation and travel. To fend off such an issue, Boeing has been working on a blockchain based solution.

To that end the airline company has filed a patent that involves use of blockchain to protect in-flight GPS receivers. The patent by Boeing¬†details an “onboard backup and anti-spoofing GPS system” that would be used if a plane’s primary system becomes unreliable or nonfunctioning.

According to the patent filing, blockchain data would be used as a backup record of information in the event that the anti-spoofing system detects potential trouble.

The work by Boeing involves the system that detects whether the GPS signals received by the GPS receiver are spoofed or not and if it detects spoofing, it retrieves position data from the block-chain storage module if the GPS receiver is not receiving the GPS signals or is receiving spoofed GPS signals.

The backup would store environmental information received from the GPS, allowing it to act as a failsafe to prevent pilots from getting lost by providing all of the information a GPS normally would. The system can be applied to any type of vehicle, both manned and unmanned, according to the application.

Further, the design is positioned in the filing as a response to a lack of fail-over technologies that can verify data about a vehicle’s location. As a result, if a GPS platform does suffer an outage or spoofing attack, “navigators, air traffic controllers, and mission planners are unable to adjust and respond with confidence.”

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