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Analysis of Secret Key Randomness Exploiting the Radio Channel Variability

Abstract : A few years ago, physical layer based techniques have started to be considered as a way to improve security in wireless communications. A well known problem is the management of ciphering keys, both regarding the generation and distribution of these keys. A way to alleviate such difficulties is to use a common source of randomness for the legitimate terminals, not accessible to an eavesdropper. This is the case of the fading propagation channel, when exact or approximate reciprocity applies. Although this principle has been known for long, not so many works have evaluated the effect of radio channel properties in practical environments on the degree of randomness of the generated keys. To this end, we here investigate indoor radio channel measurements in different environments and settings at either 2.4625 GHz or 5.4 GHz band, of particular interest for WIFI related standards. Key bits are extracted by quantizing the complex channel coefficients and their randomness is evaluated using the NIST test suite. We then look at the impact of the carrier frequency, the channel variability in the space, time, and frequency degrees of freedom used to construct a long secret key, in relation to the nature of the radio environment such as the LOS/NLOS character.
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Submitted on : Tuesday, August 16, 2016 - 6:17:40 PM
Last modification on : Tuesday, October 19, 2021 - 11:15:36 AM

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Taghrid Mazloum, Alain Sibille. Analysis of Secret Key Randomness Exploiting the Radio Channel Variability. International Journal of Antennas and Propagation, 2015, pp.13. ⟨10.1155/2015/106360⟩. ⟨hal-01354008⟩



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