Future ministry to build GPS attack detector

The Ministry of Science, ICT & Future Planning said Wednesday it plans to expand and operate a real-time system to trace the source of any possible GPS jamming attacks by North Korea aimed at frequencies used in local telecommunication and aviation.

The system, developed by Electronics and Telecommunications Research Institute (ETRI), can trace the source of the attack immediately and display it on a map.

Currently no real-time detection if GPS jamming is in operation ― in previous attacks by the North, the authorities only identified their origin after the event.

The ministry said the new system will allow Seoul to trace the origin immediately and react faster, as the likelihood of such attacks is on the rise due to increased tension on the peninsula.

It stressed that the new initiative was to protect public enterprises and life rather than for military use. The ministry plans to select a company to begin installing the system sometime this month, for completion in November.

An official of ETRI said the institute was also developing another system that eliminates or blocks jamming attacks, though it hasn’t been decided when this will be deployed.

The main aim is to reboot disrupted signals so that possible danger caused by any disruption is minimal. More moves by the ministry to strengthen the security of public and private life are not only due to threats from Pyongyang, but also because of the new level of sophistication of attacks on computers and other devices developed by hackers.

The new ministry, since absorbing the role of facilitating growth of the information technology industry from the Korea Communications Commission, has been overseeing recent technological developments.

It also supervises reactions to Internet or cyber attacks, and has been investigating the massive hacking last month that saw systems of major broadcasters and banks shutdown.