Radio Frequency Fingerprinting through Preamble Manipulation

ABSTRACT

This paper demonstrates a novel and complementary approach to exploiting physical-layer differences among wireless devices. This research records packets with standard-length IEEE 802.11b preambles using a software defined radio, manipulates the recorded preambles by shortening their length, then replays the altered packets toward the transceivers under test. Five transceiver types from three manufacturers are distinguishable by analysing differences in packet reception with respect to preamble length with greater than 99% accuracy using a small number of test packets.  The results demonstrate that preamble manipulation is effective for multi-factor device authentication, network intrusion detection, and remote transceiver type fingerprinting.


AUTHORS

Photo of Nick J. Kulesza

Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering Air Force Institute of Technology, Wright-Patterson AFB, OH,
United States

Nick J. Kulesza is a Course Director within the Air Force Institute of Technology (AFIT) School of Systems and Logistics. He received his Bachelor of Science in Computer Science from Kent State University in 2009, his Master of Science in Cybersecurity from Virginia College in 2012, and his Master of Science in Computer Science from AFIT in 2014. His research interests include wireless communication networks, cyber security, network exploitation, and side-channel communication.

Air Force Institute of Technology, Wright-Patterson AFB, OH
United States

Benjamin W. Ramsey is a Computer Science PhD candidate at the Air Force Institute of Technology (AFIT). He received his Bachelor of Science in Electrical Engineering from North Carolina State University in 2004, and his Master of Science in Electrical Engineering with an emphasis on wireless networks from AFIT in 2009. He is a member of the Tau Beta Pi engineering society and Eta Kappa Nu. His research interests include wireless communication networks, network security, and critical infrastructure protection.

Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering, Air Force Institute of Technology, Wright-Patterson AFB, OH
United States

Barry E. Mullins is an Associate Professor of Computer Engineering in the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering, Air Force Institute of Technology, Wright- Patterson AFB OH. He received a B.S. in Computer Engineering (cum laude) from the University of Evansville in 1983, an M.S. in Computer Engineering from the Air Force Institute of Technology in 1987, and a PhD in Electrical Engineering from Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University in 1997. He served 21 years in the Air Force and taught at the U.S. Air Force Academy for seven of those years. He is a registered Professional Engineer in Colorado and a member of Tau Beta Pi, Eta Kappa Nu, Phi Beta Chi (Science), Kappa Mu Epsilon (Mathematics), IEEE (M-1996, SM-2000) and ASEE. His research interests include cyber operations, malware analysis, reverse code engineering, computer/network security, SCADA (supervisory control and data acquisition) security, computer communication networks, embedded (sensor) and wireless networking, and reconfigurable computing systems.

Journal of Information Warfare

The definitive publication for the best and latest research and analysis on information warfare, information operations, and cyber crime. Available in traditional hard copy or online.

Quick Links

View the latest issue of JIW.

Latest Edition

Purchase a subscription to JIW.

Subscribe

Media Parner to JIW.

Media Partner

Keywords

C

C2
C2S
CDX
CIA
CIP
CPS

I

IA
ICS

S

SOA

X

XRY

Quill Logo

The definitive publication for the best and latest research and analysis on information warfare, information operations, and cyber crime. Available in traditional hard copy or online.

SUBSCRIBE NOW

Get in touch

  • Journal of Information Warfare
    114 Ballard Street
    Yorktown, VA
    23690
  • 757.234.6664
  • jiw@gbpts.com