Multilayer Authentication for Communication Systems Based on Physical-Layer Attributes


In this paper, a multilayer security solution is introduced, in order to accord the required end-to-end security blanket to the heterogeneous networks by considering the properties used by authentication at the physical-layer in transport-layer authentication. In particular, after achieving an authentication level based on the estimated channel impulse response (CIR) at the physicallayer, these CIRs are exploited at the transport layer, adding more randomness to the generated sequence numbers used in the 3-Way TCP/IP handshake authentication. Furthermore, in order to enhance the authentication at the physical layer, the estimated CIR is quantized into two domains: amplitude and phase. The quantizer’s output is used to differentiate between the legitimate transmitters and intruders using binary hypothesis testing. Eventually, generating a unique sequence numbers is granted due to the increased randomness offered by the quantizer outputs. In order to verify the effectiveness of the proposed scheme, simulation results are shown based on an orthogonal frequency division multiplexing (OFDM) system. Additionally, a logarithmic likelihood ratio test is used to evaluate the authentication performance.

Share and Cite:

Refaey, A. , Hou, W. and Loukhaoukha, K. (2014) Multilayer Authentication for Communication Systems Based on Physical-Layer Attributes. Journal of Computer and Communications, 2, 64-75. doi: 10.4236/jcc.2014.28007.

Conflicts of Interest

The authors declare no conflicts of interest.


[1] Zeng, K., Govindan, K. and Mohapatra, P. (2010) Non-Cryptographic Authentication and Identification in Wireless Networks. IEEE Wireless Communications, 17, 56-62.
[2] Xiao, L., Greenstern, L., Mandayam, N. and Trappe, W. (2008) MIMO-Assisted Channel-Based Authentication in Wireless Networks. IEEE Conference on Information Sciences and Systems (CISS), 642-646.
[3] He, F., Man, H., Kivanc, D. and McNair, B. (2009) EPSON: Enhanced Physical Security in OFDM Networks. IEEE International Conference on Communications (ICC), 14-18 June 2009, Dresden, 1-5.
[4] Tugnait, J.K. and Kim, H. (2010) A Channel-Based Hypothesis Testing Approach to Enhance User Authentication in Wireless Networks. IEEE International Conference on Communication Systems and Networks (COMSNETS), 1-9.
[5] Rosati, S., Corazza, G.E. and Coralli, A.V. (2009) OFDM Channel Estimation with Optimal Threshold-Based Selection of CIR Samples. Proceedings of IEEE Global Telecommunication Conference (GLOBE-COM), 1-7.
[6] Nair, S., Abraham, S. and Al Ibrahim, O. (2011) Security Architecture for Resource-Limited Environments. International Wireless Communications and Mobile Computing Conference (IWCMC), 412-417,
[7] Goergen, N., Charles Clancy, T. and Newman, T.R. (2010) Physical Layer Authentication Watermarks through Synthetic Channel Emulation. IEEE Symposium on New Frontiers in Dynamic Spectrum, 6-9 April 2010, Singapore, 1-7.
[8] Touch, J., Mankin, A. and Bonica, R. (2009) The TCP Authentication Option. draft-ietf-tcpm-tcp-auth-opt-05.
[9] Zalewski, M. (2012) The Tangled Web: A Guide to Securing Modern Web Applications. No Starch Press, San Francisco.
[10] Zalewski, M. (2005) Silence on the Wire: A Field Guide to Passive Reconnaissance and Indirect Attacks. No Starch Press, San Francisco.
[11] Venkatraman, L. and Agrawal, D.P. (2000) A Novel Authentication Scheme for ad hoc Networks. Wireless Communications and Networking Conference, 23-28 September 2000, Chicago, 1268-1273.
[12] Xiao, L., Greenstein, L., Mandayam, N. and Trappe, W. (2008) A Physical-Layer Technique to Enhance Authentication for Mobile Terminals. IEEE International Conference on Communications (ICC), 19-23 May 2008, Beijing, 1520-1524.
[13] Xiao, L., Greenstein, L., Mandayam, N. and Trappe, W. (2007) Fingerprints in the Ether: Using the Physical Layer for Wireless Authentication. IEEE International Conference on Communication, 24-28 June 2007, Glasgow, 4646-4651.
[14] Cain, J., Clark, G. and Geist, J. (1979) Punctured Convolutional Codes of Rate (n-1)/n and Simplified Maximum Likelihood Decoding. IEEE Transactions on Information Theory, January 1979, 97-100.

Copyright © 2023 by authors and Scientific Research Publishing Inc.

Creative Commons License

This work and the related PDF file are licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.