A Framework For MIMO-based Packet Header Obfuscation

Authors:
Yue Cao University of California, Riverside, USA
Ahmed Fathy Atya University of California, Riverside, USA
Shailendra Singh University Of California, Riverside, USA
Zhiyun Qian University of California, Riverside, USA
Srikanth V Krishnamurthy University of California, Riverside, USA
Tom La Porta Pennsylvania State University, USA
Prashant Krishnamurthy University of Pittsburgh, USA
Lisa Marvel Army Research Laboratory, USA

Abstract:

Eavesdroppers can exploit exposed packet headers towards attacks that profile clients and their data flows. In this paper, we propose FOG, a framework for effective header blinding using MIMO, to thwart eavesdroppers. FOG effectively tracks header bits as they traverse physical (PHY) layer subsystems that perform functions like scrambling and interleaving. It combines multiple blinding signals for more effective and less predictable obfuscation, as compared to using a fixed blinding signal. We implement FOG on the WARP platform and demonstrate via extensive experiments that it yields better ob-fuscation than prior schemes that deploy full packet blinding. It causes a bit error rate (BER) of > 40 % at an eavesdropper if two blinding streams are sent during header transmissions. Furthermore, FOG incurs a very small throughput hit of ≈ 5 % with one blinding stream (and 9 % with two streams). Full packet blinding incurs much higher throughput hits (25 % with one stream and 50 % with two streams).

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