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SCIENCE CHINA Information Sciences, Volume 63 , Issue 2 : 121301(2020) https://doi.org/10.1007/s11432-019-2650-4

Physical layer security for massive access in cellular Internet of Things

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  • ReceivedJun 19, 2019
  • AcceptedSep 18, 2019
  • PublishedJan 15, 2020

Abstract

The upcoming fifth generation (5G) cellular network is required to provide seamless access for a massive number of Internet of Things (IoT) devices over the limited radio spectrum. In the context of massive spectrum sharing among heterogeneous IoT devices, wireless security becomes a critical issue owing to the broadcast nature of wireless channels. According to the characteristics of the cellular IoT network, physical layer security (PHY-security) is a feasible and effective way of realizing secure massive access. This article reviews the security issues in the cellular IoT network with an emphasis on revealing the corresponding challenges and opportunities for the design of secure massive access. Furthermore, we provide a survey on PHY-security techniques to improve the secrecy performance. Especially, we propose a secure massive access framework for the cellular IoT network by exploiting the inherent co-channel interferences. Finally, we discuss several potential research directions to further enhance the security of massive IoT.


Acknowledgment

This work was supported by National Natural Science Foundation of China (Grant Nos. 61871344, 61922071, U1709219, 61725104), National Science and Technology Major Project of China (Grant No. 2018ZX03001017-002), and National Key RD Program of China (Grant No. 2018YFB1801104).


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  • Figure 1

    (Color online) A typical massive access scenario in the cellular IoT network.

  • Figure 2

    (Color online) A three-node PHY-security model.

  • Figure 3

    (Color online) A secure massive access protocol in the cellular IoT network.

  • Figure 4

    (Color online) Performance comparison of the proposed scheme and a fixed scheme.

  • Table 1   Comparison of wireless access techniques for IoT networks
    Bluetooth Zigbee WiFi LoRa Cellular
    Spectrum Unlicensed Unlicensed Unlicensed Unlicensed Licensed
    Connectivity Small Medium Large Massive Massive
    Range Short Short Medium Long Long
    Power Low Low High Low Low
    Delay Short Short Short Short Short
    Security Low Medium Medium Medium High
    Mobility Not Not Not Yes Yes
    Cost Low Low Low High Low
  • Table 2   Comparison of cryptography and PHY-security techniques
    Advantages Shortcomings
    Cryptography (1) Low overhead (1) Need extra secure channel for key exchange
    (2) Independent of channel conditions (2) High complexity for encryption
    PHY-security (1) Absolute security (1) High overhead for channel information acquisition
    (2) Independent of eavesdropping capability (2) Extra resource consumption for security enhancement

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