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Proceedings Paper

Security concerns and solutions for unattended ground sensors
Author(s): Ronald Knobler; Robert Fish; Barry Jones; Patrick Schaumont; Michael Gora
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Paper Abstract

McQ has developed and delivered numerous unattended ground sensor (UGS) systems for a variety of applications. The systems provide flexible, wireless communications and numerous options for enabling the user to configure the system for a specific mission. This flexibility is a two-edged sword as it provides both the intended user with the functionality they desire, but also a set of vulnerabilities if a malicious user (e.g. political enemy or competitor) would attempt to disable or reverse engineer the system. McQ has developed various layers of security to address: secure program and data storage on off-chip non-volatile memory; secure access to JTAG on COTS processors and DSPs typically incorporated in the design of embedded systems used for remote sensors; authentication of sensors nodes, relays, and portable user interfaces used in the field that may be compromised; and the management of keys and other security-related data that is required to be stored and maintained in a distributed system. The associated challenges with securing embedded systems typically found in UGS will be described, as well as an overview of the solution that was developed and incorporated into McQ's systems to mitigate the vulnerabilities.

Paper Details

Date Published: 5 May 2009
PDF: 9 pages
Proc. SPIE 7333, Unattended Ground, Sea, and Air Sensor Technologies and Applications XI, 73330A (5 May 2009); doi: 10.1117/12.818759
Show Author Affiliations
Ronald Knobler, McQ, Inc. (United States)
Robert Fish, McQ, Inc. (United States)
Barry Jones, McQ, Inc. (United States)
Patrick Schaumont, Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State Univ. (United States)
Michael Gora, Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State Univ. (United States)


Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 7333:
Unattended Ground, Sea, and Air Sensor Technologies and Applications XI
Edward M. Carapezza, Editor(s)

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