Visible to the public SaTC: CORE: Small: Toward Usable and Ubiquitous Trust Initialization and Secure Networking in Wireless Ad Hoc NetworksConflict Detection Enabled

Project Details

Lead PI

Performance Period

Aug 01, 2017 - Jul 31, 2020


Stevens Institute of Technology

Award Number

With billions of smart wireless devices being ubiquitously deployed, safeguarding their networking from cyber attacks has become a challenge. Not only can the devices deployed in a network can be heterogeneous in terms of available computing resources and interfaces, but ordinary users typically have limited technical expertise to perform complicated security configurations. What's more, trust among the devices is often lacking because of the different vendors or distribution channels they have traversed. This project addresses these challenges and proposes a suite of lightweight protocols for initial trust establishment and secure networking of wireless devices. Intrinsic properties of wireless channels, which are available to most wireless devices, are utilized to minimize the dependence on user engagement, prior secrets or any hardware not commonly seen in most smart devices.

Three research thrusts are proposed to achieve the project's objectives, which take into consideration devices with limited cryptographic capabilities and those with no cryptography at all. The first task aims at minimizing user involvement in the trust initialization process without assuming any extra resources, which is achieved with an obfuscated in-band message authentication protocol. The second task puts forward a mobility-aided authenticated secret key extraction technique without any explicit user involvement. The third task explores key-free wireless security utilizing friendly jamming; a geometry-based computational model is proposed for optimizing the network deployment. The results of this project will lay the foundation for designing extremely lightweight and highly usable secure trust initialization and networking protocols that are compatible with most commercial off-the-shelf smart wireless devices.

Continuation of Award #1717312