The accuracy and reliability of time synchronization and distribution are essential requirements for many critical infrastructures, including telecommunication networks, where 5G technologies place increasingly stringent conditions in terms of maintaining highly accurate time. A lack of synchronization between the clocks causes a malfunction of the 5G network, preventing it from providing a high quality of service; this makes the time distribution network a very viable target for attacks. Various solutions have been analyzed to mitigate attacks on the Global Navigation Satellite System (GNSS) radio-frequency spectrum and the Precision Time Protocol (PTP) used for time distribution over the network. This paper highlights the significance of monitoring the integrity of the software and configurations of the infrastructural nodes of a time distribution network. Moreover, this work proposes an attestation scheme, based on the Trusted Computing principles, capable of detecting both software violations on the nodes and hardware attacks aimed at tampering with the configuration of the GNSS receivers. The proposed solution has been implemented and validated on a testbed representing a typical synchronization distribution network. The results, simulating various types of adversaries, emphasize the effectiveness of the proposed approach in a wide range of typical attacks and the certain limitations that need to be addressed to enhance the security of the current GNSS receivers.

Integrity Verification of Distributed Nodes in Critical Infrastructures / Sisinni, Silvia; Margaria, Davide; Pedone, Ignazio; Lioy, Antonio; Vesco, ANDREA GUIDO ANTONIO. - In: SENSORS. - ISSN 1424-8220. - 22:18(2022), p. 6950. [10.3390/s22186950]

Integrity Verification of Distributed Nodes in Critical Infrastructures

Silvia Sisinni;Davide Margaria;Ignazio Pedone;Antonio Lioy;Andrea Vesco
2022

Abstract

The accuracy and reliability of time synchronization and distribution are essential requirements for many critical infrastructures, including telecommunication networks, where 5G technologies place increasingly stringent conditions in terms of maintaining highly accurate time. A lack of synchronization between the clocks causes a malfunction of the 5G network, preventing it from providing a high quality of service; this makes the time distribution network a very viable target for attacks. Various solutions have been analyzed to mitigate attacks on the Global Navigation Satellite System (GNSS) radio-frequency spectrum and the Precision Time Protocol (PTP) used for time distribution over the network. This paper highlights the significance of monitoring the integrity of the software and configurations of the infrastructural nodes of a time distribution network. Moreover, this work proposes an attestation scheme, based on the Trusted Computing principles, capable of detecting both software violations on the nodes and hardware attacks aimed at tampering with the configuration of the GNSS receivers. The proposed solution has been implemented and validated on a testbed representing a typical synchronization distribution network. The results, simulating various types of adversaries, emphasize the effectiveness of the proposed approach in a wide range of typical attacks and the certain limitations that need to be addressed to enhance the security of the current GNSS receivers.
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/11583/2971342