Paper 2017/185

A Virtual Wiretap Channel for Secure MessageTransmission

Setareh Sharifian, Reihaneh Safavi-Naini, and Fuchun Lin


In the Wyner wiretap channel, a sender is connected to a receiver and an eavesdropper through two noisy channels. It has been shown that if the noise in the eavesdropper channel is higher than the receiver's channel, information theoretically secure communication from Alice to Bob, without requiring a shared key, is possible. The approach is particularly attractive noting the rise of quantum computers and possibility of the complete collapse of today's’ cryptographic infrastructure. If the eavesdropper’s channel is noise free, however, no secrecy can be obtained. The iJam protocol, proposed by Gollakota and Katabi, is an interactive protocol over noise free channels that uses friendly jamming the receiver to establish an information theoretically secure shared key between the sender and the receiver. The protocol relies on the Basic iJam Transmission Protocol (BiT protocol) that uses properties of OFDM (Orthogonal Frequency-Division Multiplexing) to create uncertainty for Eve (hence noisy view) in receiving the sent information, and use this uncertainty to construct a secure key agreement protocol. The protocol has been implemented and evaluated using extensive experiments that examine the best eavesdropper’s reception strategy. In this paper, we develop an abstract model for BiT protocol as a wiretap channel and refer to it as a virtual wiretap channel. We estimate parameters of this virtual wiretap channel, derive the secrecy capacity of this channel and design a secure message transmission protocol with provable semantic security using the channel. Our analysis and protocol give a physical layer security protocol, with provable security, that is implementable in practice (BiT protocol has already been implemented).

Available format(s)
Publication info
Published elsewhere. Springer, LNCS series
information theoretic securitywiretap channelwireless securityinvertible extractors
Contact author(s)
ssharifi @ ucalgary ca
2017-02-28: received
Short URL
Creative Commons Attribution


      author = {Setareh Sharifian and Reihaneh Safavi-Naini and Fuchun Lin},
      title = {A Virtual Wiretap Channel for Secure MessageTransmission},
      howpublished = {Cryptology ePrint Archive, Paper 2017/185},
      year = {2017},
      note = {\url{}},
      url = {}
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