SFIRE: Secret-Free-in-band Trust Establishment for COTS Wireless Devices

Nirnimesh Ghose, Loukas Lazos, Ming Li

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

14 Scopus citations


We address the problem of trust establishment between wireless devices that do not share any prior secrets. This includes the mutual authentication and agreement to a common key that can be used to further bootstrap essential cryptographic mechanisms. We propose SFIRE, a secret-free trust establishment protocol that allows the secure pairing of commercial off-the-shelf (COTS) wireless devices with a hub. Compared to the state-of-the-art, SFIRE does not require any out-of-band channels, special hardware, or firmware modification, but can be applied to any COTS device. Moreover, SFIRE is resistant to the most advanced active signal manipulations that include recently demonstrated signal nullification at an intended receiver. These security properties are achieved in-band with the assistance of a helper device such as a smartphone and by using the RSS fluctuation patterns to build a robust 'RSS authenticator'. We perform extensive experiments using COTS devices and USRP radios and verify the validity of the proposed protocol.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationINFOCOM 2018 - IEEE Conference on Computer Communications
PublisherInstitute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers Inc.
Number of pages9
ISBN (Electronic)9781538641286
StatePublished - Oct 8 2018
Event2018 IEEE Conference on Computer Communications, INFOCOM 2018 - Honolulu, United States
Duration: Apr 15 2018Apr 19 2018

Publication series

NameProceedings - IEEE INFOCOM
ISSN (Print)0743-166X


Other2018 IEEE Conference on Computer Communications, INFOCOM 2018
Country/TerritoryUnited States

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Computer Science
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering


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