Skip to main content

Crowdsourcing Security for Wireless Air Traffic Communications

Martin Strohmeier‚ Matthew Smith‚ Matthias Schäfer‚ Vincent Lenders and Ivan Martinovic


Protecting the security of the cyber-physical systems that make up the world’s critical infrastructures has been a recent hotly debated topic. Legacy wireless communication infrastructure is often an impediment to quickly improving these crucial systems, as cryptographic solutions prove impossible to deploy. In this article, we propose the establishment of a separate verification layer for sensitive wireless data powered by crowdsourced sensors connected to the Internet and apply it to the aviation domain. We first validate the need for independent data verification in air traffic control networks, where all wireless communication is conducted in the clear and thus subject to manipulation. To counter this threat, we develop a comprehensive model for the verification of wireless communication based on massively distributed data collection and outline how it can be used to immediately improve the security of unprotected air traffic control networks.

Book Title
Cyber Conflict (CYCON)‚ 2017 9th International Conference on
Copyrights and all rights in regard to this material are retained by NATO CCD COE. All persons copying this information are expected to adhere to the terms and constrains invoked by the copyright. In most cases‚ this work may not be reposted without the explicit permission of the copyright holder. For further information contact the copyright holder at