Cyber security challenges in aviation communication, navigation, and surveillance

Gaurav Dave, Gaurav Choudhary, Vikas Sihag, Ilsun You*, Kim Kwang Raymond Choo

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articleResearchpeer-review


As the aviation sector becomes digitized and increasingly reliant on wireless technology, so has its attractiveness to cyber attackers including nation-state actors and terrorists. For example, vulnerabilities in the broad range of interconnected devices and (sub)systems, their implementations, as well as design flaws, can be exploited to carry out nefarious activities. Therefore, in this paper we review the existing literature to understand the diverse attack vectors associated with communication, navigation, and surveillance systems, and how some of these security issues can be mitigated. Although a number of survey and review articles have analyzed various wireless technologies in aviation, to the best of our knowledge, no work has systematically analyzed them from communication, navigation and surveillance perspectives collectively. Furthermore, we present potential software defined radio (SDR)-based attacks targeting popular wireless technologies. Based on our in-depth review, we highlight existing limitations and discuss potential research opportunities.

Original languageEnglish
Article number102516
JournalComputers and Security
Number of pages14
Publication statusPublished - Jan 2022

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
Gaurav Choudhary received a Ph.D. in Information Security Engineering from Soonchunhyang University, South Korea. He has done a Master of Technology in Cyber Security from the Sardar Patel University of Police and received a Chancellor Gold Medal for Academic Excellence. He is presently working as a Postdoctoral Researcher at DTU Compute, Department of Applied Mathematics and Computer Science, Technical University of Denmark (DTU). Before joining DTU, he worked as an Assistant Professor in the School of Computer Science, University of Petroleum and Energy Studies (UPES), and School of Computer Science and Engineering (SCSE) at VIT Bhopal University. In his Ph.D. tenure, he worked at Mobile Internet Security Laboratory (MobiSec Lab), South Korea, as a Cyber Security Researcher on various projects funded by reputed organizations such as the Institute for Information and Communications Technology Promotion (IITP), National Research Foundation of Korea (NRF), and the Air Force Office of Scientific Research (AFOSR), USA. His current research interests include Threat Intelligence, IoT and CPS Security, Cyber Security, Vulnerability Assessment, 5G Security, Drone Security, and Cryptography. He has authored or co-authored many reputed SCI journal/conference papers and book chapters.

Funding Information:
This work was supported in part by the Institute of Information and Communications Technology Planning and Evaluation (IITP) Grant by the Korean Government through Ministry of Science and ICT (MSIT) (Development of 5G Edge Security Technology for Ensuring 5GC Service Stability and Availability, 95%) under Grant 2020-0-00952, and in part by Soonchunhyang University Research Fund (5%).

Publisher Copyright:
© 2021 Elsevier Ltd


  • Aviation
  • Communication
  • Navigation
  • Security
  • Software defined radio (SDR)
  • Surveillance


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