Captain, Where Is Your Ship – Compromising Vessel Tracking Systems

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A talk given by Kyle Wilhoit and Marco Balduzzi from Trend Micro's Forward Looking Threat Research team, along with independent researcher Alessandro Pasta. …

A talk given by Kyle Wilhoit and Marco Balduzzi from Trend Micro's Forward Looking Threat Research team, along with independent researcher Alessandro Pasta.

Abstract:
In recent years, automated identification systems (AISes) have been introduced to enhance vessels tracking and provide extra safety to marine traffic, on top of conventional radar installations. AIS, which is currently a mandatory installation for all passenger ships and ships over 300 metric tonnes, works by acquiring GPS coordinates and exchanging vessel’s position, course and information with nearby ships, offshore installation, i.e. harbors and traffic controls, and Internet tracking and visualizing providers.
With an estimated number of 400,000 installation, AIS is currently the best system for collision avoidance, maritime security, aids to navigation and accident investigations.
Given its primary importance in marine traffic safety, we conducted a comprehensive security evaluation of AIS, by tackling it from both a software and a hardware, radio frequency perspective.

In this talk, we share with you our finding, i.e how we have been able to hijack and perform man-in-the-middle attacks on existing vessels, take over AIS communications, tamper with the major online tracking providers and eventually fake our own yacht!.

More in: Technology , Business
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  • 1. Hey Captain, Where’s Your Ship? Attacking Vessel Tracking Systems for Fun and Profit Marco Balduzzi, Kyle Wihoit, Alessandro Pasta (@embyte / IZ2PMO, @lowcalspam, IZ2RPA)
  • 2. Ingredients
  • 3. Automatic Identification System ● Tracking system for ships – Centralized management for port authorities (VTS) – Ship-to-ship communication in open-sea ● Used for plot, course, position, and speed ● Some Applications: – Vessel Traffic Services – Collision Avoidance – Maritime Security – Aids to Navigation (AtoN) – Search and rescue, Accident investigation – Binary messages, e.g. weather forecasting 3
  • 4. Automatic Identification System ● ● Introduce to supplement the existing safety systems, e.g. traditional radars IMO agreement 2002, widely used since 2006 – – ● Required on any international ship with gross tonnage of 300 or more tons. Also required on ALL passenger ships regardless of size Estimated 400,000 installations. Expected over a million within 2014. 4
  • 5. 5
  • 6. Online AIS Services ● ● Collects and visualizes ships information Upstream done via: – Email – TCP/UDP Socket – Commercial Software – Smartphone Apps – Radio-Frequency Gateways (deployed regionally) 6
  • 7. MarineTraffic Demo 7
  • 8. AIS Application Layer ● AIVDM Sentences ● NMEA Sentences , as GPS !AIVDM,1,1,,B,177KQJ5000G?tO`K>RA1wUbN0TKH,0*5C TAG, FRAG_#, FRAG_ID, N/A, CHANNEL, PAYLOAD, PAD, CRC 8
  • 9. Message 1/18: Position Report Maritime Mobile Service Identity (MMSI) number: Shared among multiple messages ● ● ● Longitude, latitude, navigation status, speedover-ground (SOG), course-over-ground (COG) Sent every 3 to 30 seconds, depending from ship speed 168 bits 9
  • 10. Message 24: Static Report ● Types 24A [160 bits] and 24B [168 bits] ● Name, callsign, dimension ● Type of ship and cargo type, e.g. – 35: Engaged in military operations – 51: Search and rescue – 55: Law enforcement – 5X: Carrying dangerous goods (e.g. Nuclear) 10
  • 11. Few-Others ● Type 8: Binary Broadcast Message – ● Type 22: Channel-Management – ● Weather Forecasting Reserved for Port Authorities Type 14: Safety-Related Broadcast Message – SOS, Man-In-Water 11
  • 12. Generate Valid AIVDM Sentences 12
  • 13. AIVDM_Encoder Example ● Example of generation of AIVDM Sentence for ● Ship involved in Military Operations ● Named HiTB13 13
  • 14. Identified Threats ● Grouped in two macro families: – Implementation-specific VS protocol-specific 14
  • 15. Spoofing Attack ● Ships, AtoN, Aircrafts 15
  • 16. North Korea... What?! 16
  • 17. And... 17
  • 18. Autopwning ● ● Script to make a ship follow a path over time Programmed with Google Earth's KML/KMZ information 18
  • 19. Ship Hijacking via AIS Gateway 19
  • 20. Eleanor Gordon ● Eleanor Gordon...Real ship... 20
  • 21. Eleanor Gordon Popping Up in Dallas? 21
  • 22. Landing Lake 22
  • 23. Replay Attack 23
  • 24. 24
  • 25. AIS Communication over the Air ● No authentication, no integrity check ● Protocol designed in a “hardware-epoch” ● Hacking: Difficult and cost expensive ● Fake AIS Signals? ● Let's do it via software! 25
  • 26. SDR: Software Defined Radio ● Paradigm switch from Hardware to Software ● Reduced costs, Reduced complexity, Increased flexibility ● Many application, e.g. Radio/TV receiver, 20 USD ● Accessible by many, bad guys included! 26
  • 27. GnuRadio and USRP Synergy Universal Software Radio Peripheral 27
  • 28. AIS Transmitter ● GnuRadio flowchart message on the air for ● AIS 4 main components / blocks ● transmitting IDE → Python script 28
  • 29. AIS Frame Builder ● Implements the AIS Stack (C code) ● Builds the Frame to be modulated 29
  • 30. 30
  • 31. Equipment Universal Software Radio Peripheral AIS Transceiver 31
  • 32. Outdoor experiments Standard VHF Transceiver (Radio) MOXXON Directional Antenna 32
  • 33. Attack 1: Man-in-water Spoofing ● Fake a "man-in-the-water" distress beacon at any location ● Similar to Avalanche Safety Beacons ● <live demo> 33
  • 34. Attack 2: Frequency Hopping [1/2] ● Disable AIS transponders – Up to 5 weeks ● Switch to non-default frequency ● Stored in flash memory ● Specify a desired targeted region – ● Geographically remote region applies as well E.g. Pirates can render a ship invisible in Somalia 34
  • 35. Attack 2: Frequency Hopping [2/2] 35
  • 36. Attack 3: CPA Alerting [1/2] ● Fake a CPA alert (Closest Point of Approach) and trigger a collision warning alert. 36
  • 37. Attack 3: CPA Alerting [2/2] 37
  • 38. Attack 4: Weather Forecasting 38
  • 39. Real-World Experiment ● Generate a valid over-the-air AIS message ● Target: AIS proxy ● Demo 39
  • 40. Responsible Disclosure ● Our experiments are conducted without interfering with existing systems – ● ● We reached out the appropriate providers and authorities within time Online providers: – ● Messages with safety-implications tested only in remote lab environment MarineTraffic, AisHub, VesselFinder, ShipFinder Standard bodies: – ITU-R: 11 September 2013 – IALA, IMO, US Coast Guards: No answer yet 40
  • 41. Countermeasures ● Authentication – ● Integrity Monitoring – ● Tamper checking of AIS message Time Check – ● Ensure the transmitter is the owner Avoid replay attack Validity Check on Data Context – E.g., Geographical information 41
  • 42. Take Home ● AIS is widely used – Mandatory installation ● AIS is a major technology in marine safety ● AIS is broken at implementation-level ● AIS is broken at protocol-level ● We hope that our work will help in raising the issue and enhancing the existing situation! 42
  • 43. Questions? ● Thanks! FTR, Germano (IW2DCK), ITU-R 43