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Mobility Improves the Security of Location Awareness in Wireless Networks

  • Mobility has become an integral feature of many wireless networks. Along with this mobility comes the need for location awareness. A prime example for this development are today’s and future transportation systems. They increasingly rely on wireless communications to exchange location and velocity information for a multitude of functions and applications. At the same time, the technological progress facilitates the widespread availability of sophisticated radio technology such as software-defined radios. The result is a variety of new attack vectors threatening the integrity of location information in mobile networks. Although such attacks can have severe consequences in safety-critical environments such as transportation, the combination of mobility and integrity of spatial information has not received much attention in security research in the past. In this thesis we aim to fill this gap by providing adequate methods to protect the integrity of location and velocity information in the presence of mobility. Based on physical effects of mobility on wireless communications, we develop new methods to securely verify locations, sequences of locations, and velocity information provided by untrusted nodes. The results of our analyses show that mobility can in fact be exploited to provide robust security at low cost. To further investigate the applicability of our schemes to real-world transportation systems, we have built the OpenSky Network, a sensor network which collects air traffic control communication data for scientific applications. The network uses crowdsourcing and has already achieved coverage in most parts of the world with more than 1000 sensors. Based on the data provided by the network and measurements with commercial off-the-shelf hardware, we demonstrate the technical feasibility and security of our schemes in the air traffic scenario. Moreover, the experience and data provided by the OpenSky Network allows us to investigate the challenges for our schemes in the real-world air traffic communication environment. We show that our verification methods match all requirements to help secure the next generation air traffic system.

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Author:Matthias Schäfer
URN (permanent link):urn:nbn:de:hbz:386-kluedo-54003
Advisor:Jens Schmitt
Document Type:Doctoral Thesis
Language of publication:English
Publication Date:2018/10/09
Year of Publication:2018
Publishing Institute:Technische Universität Kaiserslautern
Granting Institute:Technische Universität Kaiserslautern
Acceptance Date of the Thesis:2018/06/29
Date of the Publication (Server):2018/10/11
Number of page:XVI, 148
Faculties / Organisational entities:Fachbereich Informatik
DDC-Cassification:0 Allgemeines, Informatik, Informationswissenschaft / 000 Allgemeines, Wissenschaft
Licence (German):Creative Commons 4.0 - Namensnennung, nicht kommerziell, keine Bearbeitung (CC BY-NC-ND 4.0)