Strategic Defense Against Deceptive Civilian GPS Spoofing of Unmanned Aerial Vehicles

  • Tao ZhangEmail author
  • Quanyan Zhu
Conference paper
Part of the Lecture Notes in Computer Science book series (LNCS, volume 10575)


The Global Positioning System (GPS) is commonly used in civilian Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs) to provide geolocation and time information for navigation. However, GPS is vulnerable to many intentional threats such as the GPS signal spoofing, where an attacker can deceive a GPS receiver by broadcasting incorrect GPS signals. Defense against such attacks is critical to ensure the reliability and security of UAVs. In this work, we propose a signaling game framework in which the GPS receiver can strategically infer the true location when the attacker attempts to mislead it with a fraudulent and purposefully crafted signal. We characterize the necessary and sufficient conditions of perfect Bayesian equilibrium (PBE) of the game and observe that the equilibrium has a PLASH structure, i.e., pooling in low types and separating in high types. This structure enables the development of a game-theoretic security mechanism to defend against the civil GPS signal spoofing for civilian UAVs. Our results show that in the separating part of the PLASH PBE, the civilian UAV can infer its true position under the spoofing attack while in the pooling portion of the PLASH PBE, the corresponding equilibrium strategy allows the civilian UAV to rationally decide the position that minimizes the deviation from its true position. Numerical experiments are used to corroborate our results and observations.


Game theory Signaling game GPS spoofing Cybersecurity 



This research is partially supported by NSF grants CNS-1544782, CNS-1720230 and the DOE grant DE-NE0008571.


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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing AG 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering, Tandon School of EngineeringNew York UniversityBrooklynUSA

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