Access-based Lightweight Physical Layer Authentication for the Internet of Things Devices

by   Saud Khan, et al.

Physical-layer authentication is a popular alternative to the conventional key-based authentication for internet of things (IoT) devices due to their limited computational capacity and battery power. However, this approach has limitations due to poor robustness under channel fluctuations, reconciliation overhead, and no clear safeguard distance to ensure the secrecy of the generated authentication keys. In this regard, we propose a novel, secure, and lightweight continuous authentication scheme for IoT device authentication. Our scheme utilizes the inherent properties of the IoT devices transmission model as its source for seed generation and device authentication. Specifically, our proposed scheme provides continuous authentication by checking the access time slots and spreading sequences of the IoT devices instead of repeatedly generating and verifying shared keys. Due to this, access to a coherent key is not required in our proposed scheme, resulting in the concealment of the seed information from attackers. Our proposed authentication scheme for IoT devices demonstrates improved performance compared to the benchmark schemes relying on physical-channel. Our empirical results find a near threefold decrease in misdetection rate of illegitimate devices and close to zero false alarm rate in various system settings with varied numbers of active devices up to 200 and signal-to-noise ratio from 0 dB to 30 dB. Our proposed authentication scheme also has a lower computational complexity of at least half the computational cost of the benchmark schemes based on support vector machine and binary hypothesis testing in our studies. This further corroborates the practicality of our scheme for IoT deployments.


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