Security vulnerability and countermeasures of frequency offset correction in 802.11a systems

Hanif Rahbari, Marwan Krunz, Loukas Lazos

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

12 Scopus citations

Abstract

Frequency offset (FO) is an inherent feature of wireless communications. It results from differences in the operating frequency of different radio oscillators. Failure to compensate for the FO may lead to a decoding failure, particularly in OFDM systems. IEEE 802.11a/g systems use a globally known preamble to deal with this issue. In this paper, we demonstrate how an adversary can exploit the structure and publicity of 802.11a's frame preamble to launch a low-power reactive jamming attack against the FO estimation mechanism. In this attack, the adversary will need to quickly detect a PHY frame and subsequently distort the FO estimation mechanism, irrespective of the channel conditions. By employing a fast frame detection technique, and optimizing the energy and structure of the jamming signal, we show the feasibility of such an attack. Furthermore, we propose some mitigation techniques and evaluate one of them through simulations and USRP testbed experimentation.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationIEEE INFOCOM 2014 - IEEE Conference on Computer Communications
PublisherInstitute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers Inc.
Pages1015-1023
Number of pages9
ISBN (Print)9781479933600
DOIs
StatePublished - Jan 1 2014
Event33rd IEEE Conference on Computer Communications, IEEE INFOCOM 2014 - Toronto, ON, Canada
Duration: Apr 27 2014May 2 2014

Publication series

NameProceedings - IEEE INFOCOM
ISSN (Print)0743-166X

Other

Other33rd IEEE Conference on Computer Communications, IEEE INFOCOM 2014
CountryCanada
CityToronto, ON
Period4/27/145/2/14

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Computer Science(all)
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering

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