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Protecting Physical Layer Secret Key Generation from Active Attacks

Author(s): Mitev, Miroslav; Chorti, Arsenia; Belmega, E Veronica; Poor, H Vincent

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Abstract: Lightweight session key agreement schemes are expected to play a central role in building Internet of things (IoT) security in sixth-generation (6G) networks. A well-established approach deriving from the physical layer is a secret key generation (SKG) from shared randomness (in the form of wireless fading coefficients). However, although practical, SKG schemes have been shown to be vulnerable to active attacks over the initial “advantage distillation” phase, throughout which estimates of the fading coefficients are obtained at the legitimate users. In fact, by injecting carefully designed signals during this phase, a man-in-the-middle (MiM) attack could manipulate and control part of the reconciled bits and thus render SKG vulnerable to brute force attacks. Alternatively, a denial of service attack can be mounted by a reactive jammer. In this paper, we investigate the impact of injection and jamming attacks during the advantage distillation in a multiple-input–multiple-output (MIMO) system. First, we show that a MiM attack can be mounted as long as the attacker has one extra antenna with respect to the legitimate users, and we propose a pilot randomization scheme that allows the legitimate users to successfully reduce the injection attack to a less harmful jamming attack. Secondly, by taking a game-theoretic approach we evaluate the optimal strategies available to the legitimate users in the presence of reactive jammers.
Electronic Publication Date: 27-Jul-2021
Citation: Mitev, Miroslav, Chorti, Arsenia, Belmega, E Veronica, Poor, H Vincent. (Protecting Physical Layer Secret Key Generation from Active Attacks. Entropy, 23 (8), 960 - 960. doi:10.3390/e23080960
DOI: doi:10.3390/e23080960
EISSN: 1099-4300
Language: en
Type of Material: Journal Article
Journal/Proceeding Title: Entropy
Version: Final published version. This is an open access article.

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