Title: Improved wireless security for GMSK-based devices using RF fingerprinting

Authors: Donald R. Reising, Michael A. Temple, Michael J. Mendenhall

Addresses: Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering, School of Engineering and Management, US Air Force Institute of Technology (AFIT), Wright-Patterson AFB, Dayton, OH 45433, USA. ' Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering, School of Engineering and Management, US Air Force Institute of Technology (AFIT), Wright-Patterson AFB, Dayton, OH 45433, USA. ' Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering, School of Engineering and Management, US Air Force Institute of Technology (AFIT), Wright-Patterson AFB, Dayton, OH 45433, USA

Abstract: Gaussian minimum shift keying (GMSK) is employed in current global system for mobile (GSM) networks and remains a viable option for future wireless systems. Physical layer (PHY) security is demonstrated using RF fingerprints from GSM-GMSK signals to thwart malicious activities that are commonly orchestrated through unauthorised use of digital identities. Enhanced security is provided through specific emitter identification by classifying RF fingerprints from near-transient and midamble regions of GSM-GMSK bursts using multiple discriminant analysis with maximum likelihood estimation (MDA/ML). While midamble classification performance using instantaneous phase responses is notable, results using GSM-MSK near-transient fingerprint features are nearly 12% better at SNR = 20 dB and accuracies of 88–94% are achieved at SNR = 6 dB. While transient feature performance is consistent with previous 802.11a results, midamble performance is poorer and various factors are identified as potential contributors to the increased classification challenge posed by GMSK signals.

Keywords: wireless security; GMSK; Gaussian minimum shift keying; RF fingerprinting; SEI; specific emitter identification; MDA; multiple discriminant analysis; PHY security; physical layer; authentication; GSM networks; electronic security; wireless networks.

DOI: 10.1504/IJESDF.2010.032330

International Journal of Electronic Security and Digital Forensics, 2010 Vol.3 No.1, pp.41 - 59

Available online: 31 Mar 2010 *

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