Technical Reports


Robust Location Authentication with Femtocells

Brassil, Jack; Manadhata, Pratyusa K.;
HP Laboratories


Keyword(s): Distance bounding, E-911, GPS, indoor positioning, location privacy, macrocells, proximity testing, side channels

Abstract:Certain location-based services seek to spontaneously authenticate user location without the need to have a preexisting relationship with each user, or with each location provider. We introduce an intelligent infrastructure-based solution that provides spontaneous, rapid, and robust mobile device location authentication by supplementing existing 802.11x APs with femtocells. We show that by transferring data to a mobile device associated with a femtocell while remotely monitoring its traffic activity, a sender can verify the cooperating receiver's location. We describe a prototype femtocell-based location authentication system we constructed, and explain how to design data transmissions with distinct traffic signatures that can be reliably detected even in the presence of heavy cross-traffic introduced by other femtocell users. Neither mobile operators nor location providers need be aware that an authentication is taking place. Notably, our solution features the capability of authenticating voice-only phones, as well as the ability to authenticate smart phones reliably and quickly.

15 Pages

External Posting Date: December 22, 2011 [Abstract]. Approved for External Publication
Internal Posting Date: November 22, 2011 [Fulltext]

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