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Implementation of Physical Layer Key Distribution using Software Defined Radios

Author(s): S. Kambala | R. Vaidyanathaswami | A. Thangaraj

Journal: Defence Science Journal
ISSN 0011-748X

Volume: 63;
Issue: 1;
Start page: 6;
Date: 2013;
Original page

Keywords: Physical layer security | wiretap channel | key exchange protocols | software defined radio

It was well known from Shannon’s days that characteristics of the physical channel like attenuation, fading and noise can impair reliable communication. But it was more recently that the beneficial side effects of channel characteristics in ensuring secret communication started getting attention. Studies have been made to quantify the amount of secrecy that can be reaped by combining channel coding with security protocols. The Wiretap channel proposed by Wyner is arguably one of the oldest models of physical layer security protocols. In this paper, we present a brief tutorial introduction to the Wiretap channel, followed by an application of the physical layer model to a class of Key Distribution protocols. We present results from an implementation of key distribution protocols using Software Defined Radio tools along with physical RF hardware peripherals. We believe this approach is much more tangible and informative than computer based simulation studies.
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