An Implementation of Physical Layer Authentication Using Software Radios

Report No. ARL-TR-4888
Authors: Paul Yu, John Baras, and Brian Sadler
Date/Pages: July 2009; 30 pages
Abstract: Authentication is the process where claims of identity are verified and is a critical first step for sensitive communications. We propose a physical layer authentication technique that identifies radios based on their unique signal characteristics. The transmit signal is superimposed with a secret message-dependent authentication tag for the receiver to detect and validate. We present experimental results that indicate the usefulness of this technique: it has low impact on packet error, gives high quality authentication decisions, and is resistant to collisions.
Distribution: Approved for public release
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Last Update / Reviewed: July 1, 2009