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


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


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 \textit{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.

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@inproceedings {235453,
author = {Mridula Singh and Patrick Leu and AbdelRahman Abdou and Srdjan Capkun},
title = {{UWB-ED}: Distance Enlargement Attack Detection in {Ultra-Wideband}},
booktitle = {28th USENIX Security Symposium (USENIX Security 19)},
year = {2019},
isbn = {978-1-939133-06-9},
address = {Santa Clara, CA},
pages = {73--88},
url = {https://www.usenix.org/conference/usenixsecurity19/presentation/singh},
publisher = {USENIX Association},
month = aug,

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