A Review and Testing of Fault Tolerance Levels of Anti-Poaching Cybersecurity System


  • Isabelle Heyl University of Stellenbosch, Stellenbosch, South Africa
  • Julia Stone University of Stellenbosch, Stellenbosch, South Africa
  • Takudzwa Vincent Banda University of Stellenbosch, Stellenbosch, South Africa
  • Vian Smit University of Stellenbosch, Stellenbosch, South Africa
  • Dewald Blaauw University of Stellenbosch, Stellenbosch, South Africa




anti-poaching, cybersecurity, GNS3, radio-frequency identification, RFID, cyber-criminals


The development of anti-poaching networks and systems has created a new environment for animals in game reserves all over the world. Advanced technologies such as heat sensors, drones, and trip wires help prevent poachers from entering the property and therefore, creating a safer environment for animals to roam freely. Radio frequency identification (RFID) systems are used to track the location of animals. These networks are, however, susceptible to being hacked if not properly protected with cybersecurity tools, resulting in cyber-criminals gaining access into the network. Many attacks or threats can be executed on the RFID network due to some exposed vulnerabilities of elements within the anti-poaching network. The purpose of this paper is to explore the empirical methods of common attacks, used by cyber-criminals, to attack the anti-poaching network, and whether these methods used are effective in identifying weaknesses within the network. This will be executed by creating an experimental structure of the anti-poaching system with a specialised focus on the RFID elements, using quantitative research methods to produce findings. GNS3, an open-source software application that has specifically been chosen to conduct this research, is used to build the network simulation in order to analyse the weaknesses of the network. Cybersecurity protocols are implemented to protect the network and aim to protect the animals. The attacks performed, such as Flood and Scapy attacks, have shown that the anti-poaching network is vulnerable to penetration from cyber-criminals. A hypothesis test was conducted to determine whether the attacks had a significant effect on the network, by using the average ping time from specific nodes to Google. It was found that the average ping time increased by 2.0020 units, therefore stating that the elements of the network were successfully attacked. The fault tolerance test shows that the availability of the anti-poaching network is roughly 90 percent which concludes that the network is configured to deliver quality performance and handle failures, should there be any intervention. This will allow game reserves to implement and have information on a better and safer RFID system for the animals.