DoubleEcho: Mitigating Context-Manipulation Attacks in Copresence Verification

by | Oct 8, 2019 | 0 comments

(The article abstract) 

Copresence verification based on context can improve usability and strengthen security of many authentication and access control systems. By sensing and comparing their surroundings, two or more devices can tell whether they are copresent and use this information to make access control decisions. To the best of our knowledge, all context-based copresence verification mechanisms to date are susceptible to context-manipulation attacks. In such attacks, a distributed adversary replicates the same context at the (different) locations of the victim devices, and induces them to believe that they are copresent. In this paper we propose DoubleEcho, a context-based copresence verification technique that leverages acoustic Room Impulse Response (RIR) to mitigate context-manipulation attacks. In DoubleEcho, one device emits a wide-band audible chirp and all participating devices record reflections of the chirp from the surrounding environment. Since RIR is, by its very nature, dependent on the physical surroundings, it constitutes a unique location signature that is hard for an adversary to replicate. We evaluate DoubleEcho by collecting RIR data with various mobile devices and in a range of different locations. We show that DoubleEcho mitigates context-manipulation attacks whereas all other approaches to date are entirely vulnerable to such attacks. DoubleEcho detects copresence (or lack thereof) in roughly 2 seconds and works on commodity devices.

Authors: Hien Thi Thu Truong, Juhani Toivonen, Thien Duc Nguyen, Claudio Soriente, N. Asoka and Sasu Tarkoma

NEC Laboratories Europe, University of Helsinki, Technische Universität Darmstadt and Aalto University

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