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Internet Engineering Task Force
Internet-Draft
Intended status: Informational                      Southeast University
Expires: April 11, 2019                                  October 8, 2018


               Authentication by Physical Layer Features
             draft-linning-authentication-physical-layer-00

Abstract

   This document proposes an authentication method using physical layer
   features from terminal unit.  This document assumes that the reader
   is familiar with some concepts and details regarding physical layer
   security.

Status of This Memo

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   This Internet-Draft will expire on April 11, 2019.

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Table of Contents

   1.  Introduction  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .   2
     1.1.  Terminology . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .   2
   2.  Applicability . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .   3
     2.1.  Physical layer feature extraction . . . . . . . . . . . .   3
     2.2.  Physical Layer Feature based Authentication . . . . . . .   3
   3.  Physical Layer Feature Extraction . . . . . . . . . . . . . .   3
   4.  Physical Layer Feature based Authentication . . . . . . . . .   4
   5.  Example . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .   5
   6.  IANA Considerations . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .   6
   7.  Security Considerations . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .   6
   8.  References  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .   6
     8.1.  Normative References  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .   6
     8.2.  Informative References  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .   6
   Authors' Addresses  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .   7

1.  Introduction

   The classical device authentication method includes MAC address, pre-
   shared key or digital certificate.  However, the MAC address is easy
   to be imitated, which can hardly ensure the security.  The security
   of the pre-shared key and digital certificate is mainly due to the
   strength of the digital key and authentication algorithms.

   Physical layer feature based device identification provides a
   physical layer security protection for networks.  Utilizing the
   inherent physical layer feature of terminal unit, it is possible to
   realize identity authentication via only the received waveform.

   It has been demonstrated that physical layer feature owns uniqueness
   and persistence, which could be used for terminal unit
   identification.  The physical layer feature could be obtained via
   transient feature extraction, spectrum feature extraction or
   modulation feature extraction.  [Ref_1] After that, gateway could
   identify the identity of the terminal unit via the received signal
   waveforms by identification algorithms.

1.1.  Terminology

   The key words "MUST", "MUST NOT", "REQUIRED", "SHALL", "SHALL NOT",
   "SHOULD", "SHOULD NOT", "RECOMMENDED", "MAY", and "OPTIONAL" in this
   document are to be interpreted as described in RFC 2119 [RFC2119].








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2.  Applicability

   This mechanism authenticates the identity of the terminal unit by
   physical layer features, which is suitable for wireless, wired and
   optical networks.

   When network node transmits message to other network nodes, the
   binary message is transformed to analogical signal in physical layer.
   This physical layer signal includes the unique physical layer feature
   of the transmitter.  The receiver utilizes the physical layer
   features from the transmitter signal.

   The steps are listed below:

2.1.  Physical layer feature extraction

   The physical layer feature extraction methods can be generally
   summarized into three categories, namely transient-based method,
   spectrum-based method, and modulation-based method.  [Ref_1] The
   obtained physical layer features are digitalized to a feature vector,
   which is used for authentication.

2.2.  Physical Layer Feature based Authentication

   The gateway uses the extracted physical layer features to
   authenticate the accessing terminal device.

3.  Physical Layer Feature Extraction

   The physical layer features include transient-based feature,
   spectrum-based feature, and modulation-based feature.

   The transient-based method measures the turn-on/off transient or
   transmitting signal variations for device identification.  These
   features are extracted by measuring the envelope of the transient
   signal.  Signal processing methods such as principal component
   analysis (PCA) and discrete Fourier transform (DFT) are employed for
   further feature process.  In addition, statistical methods are also
   used for transient-based feature extraction.  The standard deviation,
   variance, skewness and kurtosis of the transient amplitude, phase and
   frequency are extracted for physical layer features.  A vector of
   these features are directly employed for
   authentication.[Ref_1][Ref_2]

   Signal spectrum is another important physical layer feature.  The
   power spectrum density (PSD) is directly extracted from the samples
   of the receiver signal.  In general, the non-linearity behavior of
   the device transmitter is the main source of the signal spectrum



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   feature.  The signal spectrum feature can be quantified by selecting
   several significant regions at PSD.  The in-band outline and out-of-
   band outline of PSD is another important physical layer feature for
   authentication.  [Ref_1]

   Modulation-based methods extract stable features from the received
   signal, including auto gain control (AGC) responds, amplifier
   nonlinearity characteristics, sampling frequency offset, carrier
   frequency offset, differential constellation trace figure (DCTF) and
   so on.  These modulation-based features can be extracted in the
   baseband by specific methods.  [Ref_3]

   The extracted physical layer features are grouped into a feature
   vector.  This feature vector is further used for authentication.

4.  Physical Layer Feature based Authentication

   In physical layer feature based authentication, the gateway has two
   process, including a training process and decision process.  In
   training process, the system works in a secure connection.  The
   identity of the accessing device is true and known at gateway.  The
   gateway capture the physical layer signal and extract the physical
   layer feature.  The obtained physical layer feature is stored in
   database for decision process in authentication.  In decision
   process, the system works in an open network.  Gateway receives the
   signal of accessing terminal device.  Gateway authenticate the
   identity of the terminal using the stored features in database.

   In terminal identity authentication problem, the gateway is faced
   with two situations.  The first situation is that the identity of the
   terminal device has been registered before, the terminal device
   declare its identity in its accessing.  In this case, gateway compare
   the extracted physical layer feature to the feature vector stored in
   the database.  The result of the comparison is a degree of similarity
   between the accessing terminal device and legitimate device.  Gateway
   confirm the identity of the accessing terminal device when the degree
   of similarity is higher than a threshold.  If the identity of the
   accessing terminal device is legitimate, gateway opens the connection
   of the terminal device to the internal network.  The second situation
   is that the identity of the terminal device has not been registered
   before.  In this case, gateway also extracts the physical layer
   feature of the accessing terminal device.  The gateway compare the
   extracted feature to all of the feature vectors stored in the
   database.  A final result of degree of similarities between the
   accessing terminal device and stored features is obtained.  Gateway
   confirm the new identity of the accessing terminal device when all of
   degree of similarities are lower than a threshold.  Gateway close the
   connection of the terminal device to the internal network.



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5.  Example

   An application example is introduced as follows:

   The authentication by physical layer feature system includes four
   elements: terminal unit, physical layer feature extraction unit,
   internal network unit and accessing control unit.  The terminal unit
   is connected to the physical layer feature extraction unit and
   accessing control unit.  The physical layer feature extraction unit
   is connected to the accessing control unit.  The internal network
   unit is connected to the accessing control unit.  The signal is
   transmitted from terminal unit to physical layer feature extraction
   unit.  The signal is also transmitted from physical layer feature
   extraction unit to accessing control unit.  The terminal unit and
   accessing control unit have mutual signal exchange.  The internal
   network unit and accessing control unit also have mutual signal
   exchange.

   The physical layer feature extraction unit includes three components:
   front-end signal capture device and processor.  The processor
   extracts the physical layer feature using the capture signal from
   front-end signal capture device.  The accessing control unit includes
   two components: storage and processor.  The processor authenticates
   the accessing terminal device using the physical layer feature.  The
   authentication rule and identity information are stored in the
   database of storage.  The extracted physical layer feature is also
   stored in the database of storage.

   In training process, physical layer feature extraction unit initially
   obtains physical layer feature and transmits the physical layer
   feature to accessing control unit.  Accessing control unit binds the
   physical layer feature to the identity of terminal device.  The
   physical layer feature of the trained device is stored in database at
   accessing control unit.

   In decision process, physical layer feature extraction unit captures
   the signal of accessing terminal device.  Physical layer feature
   extraction unit further extracts the physical layer feature from the
   captured signal.  Physical layer feature extraction unit transfers
   the physical layer feature to accessing control unit.  In decision
   process, the authentication has two situations.  In the first
   situation, the identity of the terminal device has been registered
   before in the database.  The terminal device declares his identify
   when it accesses the network.  The accessing control unit compares
   the extracted physical layer feature to the stored physical layer
   feature in the database with the declared index.  This comparison
   gets a result of degree of similarity.  If this degree of similarity
   is higher than a threshold, accessing control unit confirms the



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   identity of the device and opens the connection of terminal unit to
   the internal network unit.  If this degree of similarity is lower
   than a threshold, accessing control unit rejects the access of the
   device and closes the connection of terminal unit to the internal
   network unit.  In the second situation, the identity of the terminal
   device has not been registered before in the database.  The terminal
   device does not declare his identify when it accesses the network.
   The accessing control unit compares the extracted physical layer
   feature to all of the stored physical layer feature in the database.
   This comparison gets a result of highest value of degree of
   similarity.  If the highest value of degree of similarity is lower
   than a threshold, the accessing control unit confirms the new
   identity of the accessing terminal device and closes the connection
   of terminal unit to the internal network unit.  If the highest value
   of degree of similarity is higher than a threshold, the accessing
   control unit requires other authentication method to confirm the
   identity of the terminal device.

6.  IANA Considerations

   This document includes no request to IANA.

7.  Security Considerations

   This section will address only security considerations associated
   with the use of physical layer features for authentications.  The
   similarity of physical layer features between different devices is
   relied on the consistency of physical devices, measurement accuracy
   of the gateway.  If the gateway cannot distinguish the physical layer
   features between different devices, authentication methods in higher
   layer is required.

8.  References

8.1.  Normative References

   [RFC2119]  Bradner, S., "Key words for use in RFCs to Indicate
              Requirement Levels", BCP 14, RFC 2119,
              DOI 10.17487/RFC2119, March 1997,
              <https://www.rfc-editor.org/info/rfc2119>.

8.2.  Informative References

   [Ref_1]    Danev, Boris.,
              "https://dl.acm.org/citation.cfm?id=2379782", 2012.

   [Ref_2]    J.Carbino , Timothy.,
              "https://ieeexplore.ieee.org/document/7069371/", 2015.



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   [Ref_3]    Peng, Linning.,
              "https://ieeexplore.ieee.org/document/7752534/", 2016.

Authors' Addresses

   Linning Peng
   Southeast University
   No.2 SiPaiLou
   NanJing, JiangSu  210096
   China

   Phone: +86 25 52091692
   Email: pengln@seu.edu.cn


   Aiqun Hu
   Southeast University
   No.2 SiPaiLou
   NanJing, JiangSu  210096
   China

   Phone: +86 25 52091692
   Email: aqhu@seu.edu.cn




























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