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Assessment of information security vulnerabilities in common seismological equipment

Michael Samios, Christos P. Evangelidis and Emmanouil Serrelis
Assessment of information security vulnerabilities in common seismological equipment
Seismological Research Letters (February 2021) 92 (2A): 933-940


Modern seismic and Global Navigation Satellite Systems stations are nowadays equipped with Internet of Things devices that acquire, process, and transmit various geophysical parameters in near-real time. This technological advance has introduced a new threat paradigm for common seismological devices. Such threats can be assessed with standard information security methods and practices. This article aims to identify security weaknesses, describe weak security points and potential attacks on such environments, and anticipate the countermeasures needed. Real tests and attacks have been applied to demonstrate the lack of data encryption and user authentication processes, the risks posed by unencrypted communication protocols, unsafe practices regarding settings and passwords, and poor design implementations. All these factors may impact and possibly disrupt the daily operation of seismic observatories because they can lead to falsifying data, altering configurations, or producing malicious false alarms. These in turn may cause unnecessary public concern or distrust, financial losses, or even national security issues. For all these reasons, several countermeasures and solutions are also proposed and evaluated to address each of the identified vulnerabilities.

ISSN: 0895-0695
EISSN: 1938-2057
Serial Title: Seismological Research Letters
Serial Volume: 92
Serial Issue: 2A
Title: Assessment of information security vulnerabilities in common seismological equipment
Affiliation: National Observatory of Athens, Institute of Geodynamics, Athens, Greece
Pages: 933-940
Published: 20210210
Text Language: English
Publisher: Seismological Society of America, El Cerrito, CA, United States
References: 21
Accession Number: 2021-024441
Categories: Seismology
Document Type: Serial
Bibliographic Level: Analytic
Illustration Description: illus.
Secondary Affiliation: Metropolitan College, GRC, Greece
Country of Publication: United States
Secondary Affiliation: GeoRef, Copyright 2022, American Geosciences Institute. Abstract, Copyright, Seismological Society of America. Reference includes data from GeoScienceWorld, Alexandria, VA, United States
Update Code: 202117
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