The Automatic Identification System (AIS) is a vessel tracking protocol used by the vast majority of the global maritime community. While AIS is a fantastic tool for preventing vessel collisions, it unfortunately has no built-in security. This project first provides a security vulnerability analysis of the current AIS system. We then propose the outline for a new protocol that addresses these vulnerabilities. This protocol maintains the anti-collision capabilities that AIS was designed to provide, but uses secured communications similar to those proposed in IEEE 1609 combined with a multi-tiered user-level approach to provide greater security.
Finally, our proposed protocol is simulated from two perspectives: that of an average user as well as from a network perspective level. In aggregate, the results from these simulations suggest that our protocol keeps the existing usability of AIS while reducing potential security concerns.