Insider-attacks on physical-layer group secret-key generation in wireless networks

J. Harshan, Sang Yoon Chang, Yih-Chun Hu

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

Abstract

Physical-layer group secret-key (GSK) generation is an effective way of generating secret keys in wireless networks, wherein the nodes exploit inherent randomness in the wireless channels to generate group keys, which are subsequently applied to secure messages while broadcasting, relaying, and other network-level communications. While existing GSK protocols focus on securing the common source of randomness from external eavesdroppers, they assume that the legitimate nodes of the group are trusted. In this paper, we address insider attacks from the legitimate participants of the wireless network during the key generation process. Instead of addressing conspicuous attacks such as switching-off communication, injecting noise, or denying consensus on group keys, we introduce stealth attacks that can go undetected against state-of- the-art GSK schemes. We propose two forms of attacks, namely: (i) different-key attacks, wherein an insider attempts to generate different keys at different nodes, especially across nodes that are out of range so that they fail to recover group messages despite possessing the group key, and (ii) low-rate key attacks, wherein an insider alters the common source of randomness so as to reduce the key-rate. We also discuss various detection techniques, which are based on detecting anomalies and inconsistencies on the channel measurements at the legitimate nodes. Through simulations we show that GSK generation schemes are vulnerable to insider-threats, especially on topologies that cannot support additional secure links between neighbouring nodes to verify the attacks.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publication2017 IEEE Wireless Communications and Networking Conference, WCNC 2017 - Proceedings
PublisherInstitute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers Inc.
ISBN (Electronic)9781509041831
DOIs
StatePublished - May 10 2017
Event2017 IEEE Wireless Communications and Networking Conference, WCNC 2017 - San Francisco, United States
Duration: Mar 19 2017Mar 22 2017

Publication series

NameIEEE Wireless Communications and Networking Conference, WCNC
ISSN (Print)1525-3511

Other

Other2017 IEEE Wireless Communications and Networking Conference, WCNC 2017
CountryUnited States
CitySan Francisco
Period3/19/173/22/17

Keywords

  • Group keys
  • Insider attacks
  • Physical-layer security
  • Secret key generation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Engineering(all)

Fingerprint Dive into the research topics of 'Insider-attacks on physical-layer group secret-key generation in wireless networks'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

  • Cite this

    Harshan, J., Chang, S. Y., & Hu, Y-C. (2017). Insider-attacks on physical-layer group secret-key generation in wireless networks. In 2017 IEEE Wireless Communications and Networking Conference, WCNC 2017 - Proceedings [7925526] (IEEE Wireless Communications and Networking Conference, WCNC). Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers Inc.. https://doi.org/10.1109/WCNC.2017.7925526