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SCIENCE CHINA Information Sciences, Volume 60, Issue 10: 100307(2017) https://doi.org/10.1007/s11432-017-9195-3

Secret key generation based on private pilot under man-in-the-middle attack

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  • ReceivedApr 21, 2017
  • AcceptedJul 25, 2017
  • PublishedSep 1, 2017

Abstract

Given the openness and invariance of public pilot, secret key generation (SKG) based on wireless channels is vulnerable to active attacks. In this paper, we explore man-in-the-middle (MITM) attacks, where the attacker acts as a transparent relay to intercept channel state information and deduce the generated keys. To prevent this type of attacks, a dynamic private pilot is generated, where legitimate nodes first consider the information authenticated between them as seed information for the private pilot, and then generate the private pilot based on this seed information according to the pilot requirements. Then, both the new seed information and secret keys are dynamicaally derived from wireless channels that are estimated with the private pilot instead of a public pilot. The proposed private pilot encrypts and authenticates wireless channels, allowing an SKG rate close to that without attackers. Analysis and simulation results show that the proposed SKG approach can effectively withstand an MITM attack.


Acknowledgment

The authors would like to thank the anonymous reviewers for their detailed evaluation and constructive comments. This work was partially supported by National High-Tech R&D Program of China (863) (Grant No. SS2015AA011306), National Natural Science Foundation of China (Grant Nos. 61601514, 61379006, 61401510, 61521003, 61501516), and China Postdoctoral Science Foundation (Grant No. 2016M592990).


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  • Figure 1

    (Color online) System model.

  • Figure 2

    (Color online) SKGR according to power allocation factor for the transmitter.

  • Figure 3

    SKGR according to SNR under MITM attack with $~{N_A}=~{N_B}=~1$, ${N_E}=~1$ or $2$.

  • Figure 4

    SKGR according to SNR under MITM attack with ${N_A}=~4$, ${N_B}=~1$, ${N_E}=~1$ or $2$.

  • Figure 5

    (Color online) SKGR according to SNR under MITM attack with ${N_A}=~4$, ${N_B}=~{N_E}=~2$.

  • Figure 6

    (Color online) SKGR according to SNR under MITM attack with legitimate node SNR of 10 dB, ${N_A}=~4$, ${N_B}=~{N_E}=~1$.

  • Figure 7

    (Color online) SKGR according to SNR under passive eavesdropping with $~{N_A}=~{N_B}=~1$, ${N_E}=~1$ or $2$.

  • Figure 8

    (Color online) SKGR according to the SNR of legitimate nodes under replay attack with $~{N_A}=~{N_B}=~{N_E}=~1$ or ${N_A}=~{N_B}=~{N_E}=~2$.

  • Table 1   The proposed SKG scheme based on private pilot under MITM attack
    Scheme of the proposed SKG
    Step 1: Initialization:
    The legitimate users initialize the seed sequence of the private pilot with initial authentication key $~{{\boldsymbol{X}}^K}$.
    The legitimate users generate private pilot $~{{\boldsymbol{S}}^{K}}~$ from seed sequence $~{{\boldsymbol{X}}^K}~$ according to the channel estimation algorithm
    and the pilot characteristics.
    Step 2: Secret key generation:
    The legitimate users measure wireless channels $~{{\boldsymbol{H}}_K}~$ with private pilot $~{{\boldsymbol{S}}^{K}}~$, and obtain channel estimation values $~{\tilde{\boldsymbol{~H}}_K}~$.
    The legitimate users generate secret key $~{{\boldsymbol{K}}_K}~$ based on channel estimation values $~{\tilde{\boldsymbol{~H}}_K}~$.
    Step 3: New private pilot generation:
    The legitimate users generate new seed sequence $~{{\boldsymbol{X}}^{K~+~1}}~$ from different characteristics of channel estimation values $~{\tilde{\boldsymbol{~H}}_K}~$.
    The legitimate users generate private pilot $~{{\boldsymbol{S}}^{K~+~1}}~=~\sqrt~E~({{\boldsymbol{S}}_\Sigma~}^K/\left\|~{{{\boldsymbol{S}}_\Sigma~}^K}~\right\|)~$ according to seed sequence ${{\boldsymbol{X}}^{K~+~1}}~$ and the
    condition of the proposed private pilot generation
    $ \mathop{\min}\limits_{\textrm{tr}\{\boldsymbol{S}^{K~+~1}(\boldsymbol{S}^{K~+~1})^\text{H}\}~\le~E}~\left\|~\boldsymbol{S}^{K~+~1}~-~\boldsymbol{S}_\Sigma~^K~\right\|_F. $
    The legitimate users take new private pilot $~{{\boldsymbol{S}}^{K~+~1}}$ to replace private pilot $~{{\boldsymbol{S}}^{K}}~$ from step 1.
    Step 4: Repeat step 2 and step 3.

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