New jammer detector deployed for railway network security
Barcelona, September 2019
In May 2016, the CIPSEC Project kicked off with the clear purpose of developing intelligent technology to protect critical infrastructures, like nuclear plants, hospitals, electricity grids or railway networks.
Three years later, CIPSEC is nearing official completion after a successful review meeting held with the European Union representatives. The work carried out over these years -funded by the EU Program for Research and Innovation– has integrated data from heterogeneous security products to offer high levels of protection for the operators of critical infrastructures.
“By the time we conceived CIPSEC it was very clear to all the partners that a new approach was necessary. Critical infrastructures cannot rely on security solutions that are individual and uncoordinated. We have worked to build up a framework which is capable of integrating security products from different sources while keeping in mind that the user needs a simple interface that is intuitive,” explains Denis Guilhot, Senior EU Project Manager at Worldsensing.
An intelligent sensor to detect attacks to infrastructures
Some of the security products and services incorporated are intrusion and anomaly detection, anti-malware and identity attacks. In particular, Worldsensing has created a security application based on IoT (Internet of Things) that allows users to detect when their transmissions are being attacked.
The environments that provide continuous connectivity and services rely on networks that due to their open exposed nature can be easily attacked by jamming technology.
“Think of a railway network operator that relies on data transmission to manage operations that need performance without interruption. If the signal is interfered it is crucial to determine whether it is due to a malicious attack that ultimately seeks to cause a ‘denial of service’, “ says Alejandro Lampropulos, Worldsensing engineer in charge of the technical developments of the project.
Worldsensing’s jammer detector is an intelligent sensor capable of detecting the different signals used for jamming communications. It can compare and categorize signals and send a warning to a software suite that applies an additional check using data aggregation and a refined algorithm. The information can be visualized real-time.
“We’ve been able to provide the sensor with capabilities that make it an unprecedented product. All the jammer detectors available can recognize attacks only in a limited range of frequencies, typically GPS or WiFi. Our solution can detect jamming attacks in a wide frequency range from 1 MHz to 6 GHz. We know that the level of protection guaranteed in the case of critical infrastructures has to be the highest and this is what our jammer detector does”, points out Ignasi Garcia-Milà, Innovation Project Manager at Worldsensing.
The project team during the review rehearsal meeting in Brussels (photo courtesy of CIPSEC Project)
Digitizing railway operations for safer networks
The security solution developed has been validated during the project within 3 different critical scenarios: a railway company, a major hospital, and an environment monitoring network. Several tests assessed the performance based on a total cost analysis that demonstrated the return on investment derived from mitigating a major attack or several minor ones.
Thanks to the excellent results the project has been flagged as a success story by the European Commission Research Executive Agency (REA) services.
Particularly suitable for the railway industry, Worldsensing and Deutsche Bahn have reached an agreement to continue the work initiated inside the project and deploy 20 jammer detectors in real-life premises. Transporting around 2.7bn people annually and operating in over 130 countries, the German provider of mobility worldwide is at the forefront of the research and development of new technologies.
Mr. Jasmin Ćosić, from the Information Security and Cyber Security Department at Deutsche Bahn explains “We embrace innovation and new technologies and have put an increasing focus on digitalization process in recent years. Of course we analyze the whole process and involved technology through the prism of cybersecurity and according to this, we strive to do our best to secure and defend our infrastructure. The jammer detector and related technology developed and tested in CIPSEC Project will support us, on the one hand keeping environment secure and, on the other hand, delivering reliable and environmentally friendly services to our customers.”
This project has received funding from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under grant agreement No 700378. The opinions expressed and arguments employed herein do not necessarily reflect the official views of these funding bodies.
Worldsensing is a widely recognized global IoT pioneer. Founded in 2008, the technology provider delivers Operational Intelligence to traditional industries and cities. With over 100 employees and offices in Barcelona, London, Los Angeles, and Singapore, Worldsensing is globally active and has customers in over 60 countries across all continents. Worldsensing’s investors include CISCO INVESTMENTS, Mitsui & Co, McRock Capital and ETF Partners among others.