Cryptology ePrint Archive: Report 2006/273

Secure Positioning of Mobile Terminals with Simplex Radio Communication

Mikio Fujii

Abstract: With the rapid spread of various mobile terminals in our society, the importance of secure positioning is growing for wireless networks in adversarial settings. Recently, several authors have proposed a secure positioning mechanism of mobile terminals which is based on the geometric property of wireless node placement, and on the postulate of modern physics that a propagation speed of information never exceeds the velocity of light. In particular, they utilize the measurements of the round-trip time of radio signal propagation and bidirectional communication for variants of the challenge-and-response. In this paper, we propose a novel means to construct the above mechanism by use of unidirectional communication instead of bidirectional communication. Our proposal is based on the assumption that a mobile terminal incorporates a high-precision inner clock in a tamper-resistant protected area. In positioning, the mobile terminal uses its inner clock and the time and location information broadcasted by radio from trusted stations. Our proposal has a major advantage in protecting the location privacy of mobile terminal users, because the mobile terminal need not provide any information to the trusted stations through positioning procedures. Besides, our proposal is free from the positioning error due to claimant's processing-time fluctuations in the challenge-and-response, and is well-suited for mobile terminals in the open air, or on the move at high speed, in terms of practical usage. We analyze the security, the functionality, and the feasibility of our proposal in comparison to previous proposals.

Category / Keywords: cryptographic protocols / location authentication, location verification, secure positioning, mobile security

Date: received 5 Aug 2006

Contact author: Fujii Mikio at toshiba-sol co jp

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Version: 20060817:085401 (All versions of this report)

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