Socrates (NATO)

Large Scale Collaborative Detection and Location of Threats in the Electromagnetic Space

Monitoring the electromagnetic space is fundamental in the 21st century: the spectrum is a strategic, essential, invisible and limited resource of modern life. But nowadays the protection of this resource has become more difficult, as radio commodity technologies are easily available and within the budget of individual attackers, no longer restricted to governments, which results in more frequent and sophisticated threats and wreaks havoc, posing one of the most serious economic and international security challenges in our society. Protecting the spectrum means protecting the critical wireless infrastructures and people from attackers and maintaining economic opportunities. Possible attacks are fake cellular towers (that can be easily built with today's technology) that intercept traffic from commercial mobile devices, false transmitters broadcasting messages with deceptive distress and urgency, attacks to gain access to a small cell/femtocell, unauthorized transmissions hindering normal functioning of meteorological radars, etc. The cases of wireless security incidents are often partially or even not disclosed to the public. A few times some news leak out, such as unauthorized transmissions in the air traffic control band, malicious transmissions on police radio frequencies and jamming of cellular bands. In other cases, the attacker may use a wireless device and civilian infrastructure to interact with other members of their organization.