Physical Layer Security: Latest Trends, Threats, and Countermeasures

Event Start
Event End
Building 2, Level 5, Room 5220


With the rapid evolution of wireless networks across a broad technological environment which includes virtualization, IoT and Industry 4.0, our lives are surrounded by electronic devices capable of wireless radio transmission and reception, not only for communication purposes but also for radar, wireless sensing, and radio environment monitoring and mapping. Emerging Internet of Things (IoT) and Cyber-Physical Systems (CPS) applications aim to bring people, data, processes, and things together to fulfil our needs. With the emergence of software defined networks, adaptive services and applications are gaining more attention since they allow the automatic configuration of devices and their parameters, systems, and services to the user's context change. Granted, these devices, networks, and applications are huge commodities and improve our quality of life but they also present a major risk, not only because of the widely recognized security leaks in current wireless radio access technologies but also because of the enormous amounts of information over a medium which can be extracted by radio-based sensing.   

Data and communication security have always been a focal point in wireless communication, and we have had great success with bit level cryptographic techniques and associated protocols at various levels of the data processing stack. Recently, new security approaches built on information theory fundamentals and by exploiting the secrecy capacity of the propagation channel have gained significant interest. Also, with the evolution of adaptive and flexible physical layer (PHY) and medium access (MAC) layer techniques, our radios and networks have become extremely capable and rich. Utilizing these capabilities has created new ways of designing secure communication and wireless transmission.

In addition to data communication, recent studies have suggested the use of wireless transmissions for sensing radio and physical environment to enable flexible, aware networks and environment monitoring applications. Anything related to wireless transmission, anything that the signal interacts with, can be or is being sensed, including user mobility and spectrum usage behavior, objects in the environment, and much more. This is no doubt an immense opportunity from both an academic and a commercial perspective.

Wireless physical layer secrecy has attracted much attention in recent years due to the broadcast nature of the wireless medium and its inherent vulnerability to eavesdropping, jamming, and interference. As a result, several key technologies have been advocated for improving PHY security. While most articles on physical layer secrecy focus on the information-theoretic aspect, there has been a significant amount of research which advocated using the randomness of the wireless channel through various diversity techniques including adaptive modulation and channel coding alongside the use of artificial noise signals to disrupt the wiretap user. On the other hand, recent progress in radio access technologies has enabled several enhanced secure transmission schemes, such as massive MIMO, beamforming, precoding, the integration of non-orthogonal multiple-access (NOMA), coordinated multiple access, advanced and rich set of modulation and waveform techniques, etc.  However, the emergence of large-scale, dynamic, and decentralized wireless networks, along with the increased importance of Internet of Things (IoT) devices and applications, impose new challenges on classical point-to-point PHY layer security measures. To this end, researchers have been seeking for new security technologies to complement PHY layer security and significantly improve the overall security of wireless communication networks. All of these highly sophisticated radio access technologies can be exploited in order to design robust PHY, MAC, network, and cross-layer security schemes to cope with the continuous secrecy demand. Considering their potential applications in future wireless networks, these security mechanisms will receive even more research interest from both academia and industry.

In this presentation, we will cover both communication and sensing security from a broader perspective. Even though, more emphasis on PHY security is given, other security measures will also be covered for the sake of completeness and as a step towards cross-layer security and cognitive security vision. After discussing the features and probabilities of wireless channel from both communication and sensing perspectives, exploitation of these for secure transmission will be treated in detail utilizing various approaches. We will cover wireless sensing and radio environment concepts along with the related security implications in terms of eavesdropping, disruption, manipulation and, in general, the exploitation of wireless sensing by illegitimate users. Various solutions for these threats from the domains of wireless communication, military radars, machine learning and more will be discussed. The tentative outline of the seminar will be as follows:

  •  Wireless Communication trends, requirements
  •  Importance of secure communication
  •  Classification of communication security
  •  PHY security: Communication and REM
  •  PHY security: Eavesdropping, Spoofing & Jamming
  •  Anti-jamming capable communication
  •  Cross-layer security
  •  Secure communication & other advanced radio access technologies
  •  Case- studies:
    1. Security in URLLC (URLL & Secure communication)
    2. Security in vehicular network (V2V and V2I)
    3. Security in NOMA
    4. Security in LIS

Brief Biography

Dr. Arslan (IEEE Fellow, IEEE Distinguished Lecturer) received his BS degree from the Middle East Technical University (METU), Ankara, Turkey in 1992; his MS and Ph.D. degrees were received respectively in 1994 and 1998 from Southern Methodist University (SMU), Dallas, TX. From January 1998 to August 2002, he was with the research group of Ericsson, where he was involved with several projects related to 2G and 3G wireless communication systems.  Since August 2002, he has been with the Electrical Engineering Department, at the University of South Florida, where he is a Professor. In December 2013, he joined Istanbul Medipol University to found the Engineering College, where he has worked as the Dean of the School of Engineering and Natural Sciences. In addition, he has worked as a part-time consultant for various companies and institutions including Anritsu Company and The Scientific and Technological Research Council of Turkey. 
Dr. Arslan conducts research in wireless systems, with emphasis on the physical and medium access layers of communications. His current research interests are on 5G and beyond radio access technologies, physical layer security, interference management (avoidance, awareness, and cancellation), cognitive radio, multi-carrier wireless technologies (beyond OFDM), dynamic spectrum access, co-existence issues, non-terrestial communications (High Altitude Platforms), joint radar (sensing) and communication designs. Dr. Arslan has been collaborating extensively with key national and international industrial partners and his research has generated significant interest in companies such as InterDigital, Anritsu, NTT DoCoMo, Raytheon, Honeywell, Keysight technologies. Collaborations and feedback from industry partners has significantly influenced his research. In addition to his research activities, Dr. Arslan has also contributed to wireless communication education. He has integrated the outcomes of his research into education which lead him to develop a number of courses at the University of South Florida. He has developed a unique “Wireless Systems Laboratory” course (funded by the National Science Foundation and Keysight technologies) where he was able to teach not only the theory but also the practical aspects of wireless communication system with the most contemporary test and measurement equipment. 
Dr. Arslan has served as general chair, technical program committee chair, session and symposium organizer, workshop chair, and technical program committee member in several IEEE conferences. He is currently a member of the editorial board for the IEEE Surveys and Tutorials and the Sensors Journal. He has also served as a member of the editorial board for the IEEE Transactions on Communications, the IEEE Transactions on Cognitive Communications and Networking (TCCN), and several other scholarly journals by Elsevier, Hindawi, and Wiley Publishing.