Visible to the public Profiling the Strength of Physical-Layer Security: A Study in Orthogonal Blinding

TitleProfiling the Strength of Physical-Layer Security: A Study in Orthogonal Blinding
Publication TypeConference Paper
Year of Publication2016
AuthorsZheng, Yao, Schulz, Matthias, Lou, Wenjing, Hou, Y. Thomas, Hollick, Matthias
Conference NameProceedings of the 9th ACM Conference on Security & Privacy in Wireless and Mobile Networks
Conference LocationNew York, NY, USA
ISBN Number978-1-4503-4270-4
KeywordsAdversary Models, ciphertext-only attack, composability, cryptanalysis, information-theoretic security analysis, Metrics, orthogonal blinding, Physical layer, physical layer security, physical-layer security, pubcrawl, Resiliency, theoretical cryptography

Physical layer security for wireless communication is broadly considered as a promising approach to protect data confidentiality against eavesdroppers. However, despite its ample theoretical foundation, the transition to practical implementations of physical-layer security still lacks success. A close inspection of proven vulnerable physical-layer security designs reveals that the flaws are usually overlooked when the scheme is only evaluated against an inferior, single-antenna eavesdropper. Meanwhile, the attacks exposing vulnerabilities often lack theoretical justification. To reduce the gap between theory and practice, we posit that a physical-layer security scheme must be studied under multiple adversarial models to fully grasp its security strength. In this regard, we evaluate a specific physical-layer security scheme, i.e. orthogonal blinding, under multiple eavesdropper settings. We further propose a practical "ciphertext-only attack" that allows eavesdroppers to recover the original message by exploiting the low entropy fields in wireless packets. By means of simulation, we are able to reduce the symbol error rate at an eavesdropper below 1% using only the eavesdropper's receiving data and a general knowledge about the format of the wireless packets.

Citation Keyzheng_profiling_2016