Cryptology ePrint Archive: Report 2013/581

PriWhisper: Enabling Keyless Secure Acoustic Communication for Smartphones

Bingsheng Zhang, Qin Zhan, Junfei Wang, Kui Ren, Cong Wang, Di Ma

Abstract: Short-range wireless communication technologies have been used in many security-sensitive smartphone applications and services such as contactless micro payment and device pairing. Typically, the data confidentiality of the existing short-range communication systems relies on so-called "key-exchange then encryption" mechanism. Namely, both parties need to spend extra communication to establish a common key before transmitting their actual messages, which is inefficient, especially for short communication sessions. In this work, we present PriWhisper -- a keyless secure acoustic short-range communication system for smartphones. It is designed to provide a purely software-based solution to secure smartphone short-range communication without the key agreement phase. PriWhisper adopts the emerging friendly jamming technique from radio communication for data confidentiality. The system prototype is implemented and evaluated on several Android smartphone platforms for efficiency and usability. We theoretically and experimentally analyze the security of our proposed acoustic communication system against various passive and active adversaries. In particular, we also study the (in)separability of the data signal and jamming signal against Blind Signal Segmentation (BSS) attacks such as Independent Component Analysis (ICA). The result shows that PriWhisper provides sufficient security guarantees for commercial smartphone applications and yet strong compatibilities with most legacy smartphone platforms.

Category / Keywords: applications / secure smartphone communication

Date: received 9 Sep 2013

Contact author: b zhang2009 at gmail com

Available format(s): PDF | BibTeX Citation

Note: This manuscript was submitted to ACM CCS 2013 on 5/7/2013.

Version: 20130914:023715 (All versions of this report)

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