Implementing a Real-Time Capable WPLS Testbed for Independent Performance and Security Analyses

Christian Zenger, Mario Pietersz, Jeremy Brauer, Falk-Peter Dreßler, Daniel Theis, Chris­tof Paar

Asilomar Conference on Signals, Systems, and Computers, Pacific Grove, CA, USA, October 29th - November 1st, 2017


As demonstrated recently, Wireless Physical Layer Security (WPLS) has the potential to offer substantial advantages for key management for small resource-constrained and, therefore, low-cost devices, e.g., the widely applied 8-bit MCU 8051.

In this paper, we present a fully functional testbed implementation to evaluate the performance and security of Channel-Reciprocity based Key Extraction (CRKE). The testbed is based on off-the-shelf hardware and utilizes the IEEE 802.15.4 communication standard for key extraction in real-time. The testbed can include multiple transceivers to simulate legitimate parties or eavesdropper. It contains a centralized control unit which is capable to parameterize the measurement, e.g., the sampling rate, carrier frequency, etc., and visualize numerical results within a second, e.g., the Pearson correlation, mutual information, or secret key rate.

We also propose a file format for the data of consecutive channel measurements. We believe the testbed and the data format is a good first step to provide an easy way to compare research results for the WPLS community. Furthermore, we present evaluation results of several measurement campaigns we performed, while we are focusing on attack scenarios.