Efficient DCT-based Secret Key Generation for the Internet of Things

G. Margelis, X. Fafoutis, G. Oikonomou, R. Piechocki, T. Tryfonas, P. Thomas

Abstract:
Internet of Things (IoT) Security is critical, and the most widely employed method to ensure robust confidentiality is cryptography. However, establishing cryptographically secure communication links between two transceivers requires the pre-agreement on some key, unknown to an external attacker. In recent years there has been growing interest in techniques that generate a shared random key through observation of the channel and its effects on the exchanged messages. In this work we present SKYGlow, a novel scheme for secret-key generation, designed for low-power IoT devices and tested on IEEE 802.15.4 transceivers. We first examine the practical upper bounds of the maximum length of the secret-key that can be generated by communicating IEEE 802.15.4 devices. We contrast that upper-bound with the current state-of-the-art, and elaborate on the workings of our proposed scheme. SKYGlow applies the Discreet Cosine Transform (DCT) on the Received Signal Strength (RSS) values of exchanged messages to reduce mismatches and increase correlation between the generated secret-bits. We validate the performance of our scheme on both outdoor and indoor scenarios, on the 2.4 GHz and 868 MHz ISM bands. Our experiments have resulted in the creation of 128 bit secret keys with only 65 packet exchanges and with an entropy of 0.9978 bits, making our scheme much more energy efficient compared with others in the existing literature.
Reference:
G. Margelis, X. Fafoutis, G. Oikonomou, R. Piechocki, T. Tryfonas, P. Thomas, "Efficient DCT-based Secret Key Generation for the Internet of Things", Ad Hoc Networks, Elsevier, 2018
Bibtex Entry:
@article{Margelis-2018-AdHoc,
  author = {George Margelis and Xenofon Fafoutis and George Oikonomou and Robert Piechocki and Theo Tryfonas and Paul Thomas},
  title = {Efficient DCT-based Secret Key Generation for the Internet of Things},
  journal = {Ad Hoc Networks},
  publisher = {Elsevier},
  year = {2018},
  gsid = {5818991158831943032},
  doi = {10.1016/j.adhoc.2018.08.014},
  oa-url = {https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S1570870518305948},
  abstract = {Internet of Things (IoT) Security is critical, and the most widely employed method to ensure robust confidentiality is cryptography. However, establishing cryptographically secure communication links between two transceivers requires the pre-agreement on some key, unknown to an external attacker. In recent years there has been growing interest in techniques that generate a shared random key through observation of the channel and its effects on the exchanged messages. In this work we present SKYGlow, a novel scheme for secret-key generation, designed for low-power IoT devices and tested on IEEE 802.15.4 transceivers. We first examine the practical upper bounds of the maximum length of the secret-key that can be generated by communicating IEEE 802.15.4 devices. We contrast that upper-bound with the current state-of-the-art, and elaborate on the workings of our proposed scheme. SKYGlow applies the Discreet Cosine Transform (DCT) on the Received Signal Strength (RSS) values of exchanged messages to reduce mismatches and increase correlation between the generated secret-bits. We validate the performance of our scheme on both outdoor and indoor scenarios, on the 2.4 GHz and 868 MHz ISM bands. Our experiments have resulted in the creation of 128 bit secret keys with only 65 packet exchanges and with an entropy of 0.9978 bits, making our scheme much more energy efficient compared with others in the existing literature.
},
}
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