Paper 2019/1349

UWB-ED: Distance Enlargement Attack Detection in Ultra-Wideband

Mridula Singh, Patrick Leu, AbdelRahman Abdou, and Srdjan Capkun


Mobile autonomous systems, robots, and cyber-physical systems rely on accurate positioning information. To conduct distance-measurement, two devices exchange signals and, knowing these signals propagate at the speed of light, the time of arrival is used for distance estimations. Existing distance- measurement techniques are incapable of protecting against adversarial distance enlargement—a highly devastating tactic in which the adversary reissues a delayed version of the signals transmitted between devices, after distorting the authentic signal to prevent the receiver from identifying it. The adversary need not break crypto, nor compromise any upper- layer security protocols for mounting this attack. No known solution currently exists to protect against distance enlargement. We present Ultra-Wideband Enlargement Detection (UWB-ED), a new modulation technique to detect distance enlargement attacks, and securely verify distances between two mutually trusted devices. We analyze UWB-ED under an adversary that injects signals to block/modify authentic signals. We show how UWB-ED is a good candidate for 802.15.4z Low Rate Pulse and the 5G standard.

Available format(s)
Publication info
Published elsewhere. Usenix Security
Distance BoundingDistance Enlargement AttackUltra-Wideband
Contact author(s)
mridula singh @ inf ethz ch
2019-11-27: received
Short URL
Creative Commons Attribution


      author = {Mridula Singh and Patrick Leu and AbdelRahman Abdou and Srdjan Capkun},
      title = {UWB-ED: Distance Enlargement Attack Detection in Ultra-Wideband},
      howpublished = {Cryptology ePrint Archive, Paper 2019/1349},
      year = {2019},
      note = {\url{}},
      url = {}
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