HB+DB : Distance bounding meets human based authentication

Research output: Research - peer-review21_Publication in refereed journal

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Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)627-639
Journal / PublicationFuture Generation Computer Systems
Early online date11 Jun 2016
StatePublished - Mar 2018


Authentication for resource-constrained devices is seen as one of the major challenges in current wireless communication networks. The HB+ protocol by Juels and Weis provides device authentication based on the learning parity with noise (LPN) problem and is appropriate for resource-constrained devices, but it has been shown to be vulnerable to a simple man-in-the-middle attack. Subsequent work has focused on modifying the cryptographic properties of the original protocol to mitigate this problem. We propose that this attack could be mitigated using physical layer measures from distance-bounding protocols and simple modifications to devices’ radio receivers. We take the HB+ as a reference protocol and combine it with distance-bounding techniques. This hybrid solution, the HB+DB protocol is shown to provide resistance against the man-in-the-middle attacks on HB+as a result of the additional physical-layer mechanisms. We analyze the security of the proposed HB+DB protocol against active man-in-the-middle attacks and present experiments showing how it is practically possible to limit the success of a practical man-in-the-middle attack. We also briefly discuss the possibility that HB+DB could provide some resistance to basic threats scenarios meant to be mitigated by distance-bounding protocols. We make a practical implementation to verify that our proposed method is feasible. Finally, we discuss a proof-of-concept channel for our scheme implemented on a platform equivalent in resources to a contactless smart card/NFC device.

Research Area(s)

  • Distance bounding, HB-protocol, Physical layer security

Citation Format(s)

HB+DB : Distance bounding meets human based authentication. / Pagnin, Elena; Yang, Anjia; Hu, Qiao; Hancke, Gerhard; Mitrokotsa, Aikaterini.

In: Future Generation Computer Systems, Vol. 80, 03.2018, p. 627-639.

Research output: Research - peer-review21_Publication in refereed journal