News Column

Patent Issued for Systems and Methods of Secure Coding for Physical Layer Communication Channels

July 29, 2014



By a News Reporter-Staff News Editor at Information Technology Newsweekly -- From Alexandria, Virginia, VerticalNews journalists report that a patent by the inventor McLaughlin, Steven William (Decatur, GA), filed on March 7, 2008, was published online on July 15, 2014.

The patent's assignee for patent number 8781125 is Georgia Tech Research Corporation (Atlanta, GA).

News editors obtained the following quote from the background information supplied by the inventors: "The conventional method of providing secure communication over a channel uses cryptography. Cryptography relies on the existence of codes that are 'hard to break': that is, one-way functions that are believed to be computationally infeasible to invert. Therefore, cryptography is vulnerable to an increase in computing power or the development of more efficient attacks. Furthermore, the assumptions about the hardness of certain one-way functions have not been proven mathematically, so cryptography is vulnerable if these assumptions are incorrect.

"Another weakness of cryptography is the lack of no precise metrics or absolute comparisons between various cryptographic algorithms, showing the trade off between reliability and security as a function of the block length of plaintext and ciphertext messages. Instead, a particular cryptographic algorithm is considered 'secure' if it survives a defined set of attacks, or 'insecure' if it does not.

"Cryptography as applied to some media (e.g., wireless networks) also requires a trusted third party as well as complex protocols and system architectures. Therefore, a need exists for these and other problems to be addressed."

As a supplement to the background information on this patent, VerticalNews correspondents also obtained the inventor's summary information for this patent: "Systems and methods of providing opportunistic security for physical communication channels are disclosed. One disclosed method is for securely communicating from a sender device to a receiver device on a main channel when an eavesdropper device is listening on an eavesdropper channel. The main channel has an signal-to-noise ratio SNR.sub.M, and the eavesdropper channel has a signal-to-noise ratio SNR.sub.E. The method comprises encoding a message at a physical layer with a secure error correcting code (SECC) to produce an encoded message, and transmitting the encoded message on the main channel. The SECC has a set of defined characteristics such that when the eavesdropper device is more than a predetermined distance Z from the sender, at least a predefined fraction of the message is unreliable. The predefined fraction of unreliable bits renders the eavesdropper unable to reliably decode messages on the main channel.

"One disclosed system is for securely communicating from a sender device to a receiver device on a main channel when an eavesdropper device is listening on an eavesdropper channel. The main channel has an signal-to-noise ratio SNR.sub.M, and the eavesdropper channel has a signal-to-noise ratio SNR.sub.E. The system comprises an encoder and a transmitter. The encoder is configured to encode a plurality of bits at a physical layer with a secure error correcting code (SECC) to produce a plurality of encoded bits. The transmitter is configured to transmit the encoded plurality of bits on the main channel. The SECC has a set of defined characteristics such that when the eavesdropper device is more than a predetermined distance Z from the sender, a bit error probability on the eavesdropper channel does not exceed a predetermined security threshold while a bit error probability on the main channel does exceed a predetermined reliability threshold. The plurality of encoded bits includes a fraction of unreliable bits which render the eavesdropper unable to reliably decode messages on the main channel.

"Also disclosed is a radio frequency identification (RFID) tag for securely communicating from the RFID tag to an RFID reader on a main channel when an eavesdropper device is listening on an eavesdropper channel. The main channel has an signal-to-noise ratio SNR.sub.M, and the eavesdropper channel has a signal-to-noise ratio SNR.sub.E. The system comprises an encoder and a transmitter. The encoder is configured to encode a plurality of bits at a physical layer with a secure error correcting code (SECC) to produce a plurality of encoded bits. The transmitter is configured to transmit the encoded plurality of bits on the main channel. The SECC has a set of defined characteristics such that when the eavesdropper device is more than a predetermined distance Z from the sender, at least a predefined fraction of the message is unreliable. The predefined fraction of unreliable bits renders the eavesdropper unable to reliably decode messages on the main channel."

For additional information on this patent, see: McLaughlin, Steven William. Systems and Methods of Secure Coding for Physical Layer Communication Channels. U.S. Patent Number 8781125, filed March 7, 2008, and published online on July 15, 2014. Patent URL: http://patft.uspto.gov/netacgi/nph-Parser?Sect1=PTO1&Sect2=HITOFF&d=PALL&p=1&u=%2Fnetahtml%2FPTO%2Fsrchnum.htm&r=1&f=G&l=50&s1=8781125.PN.&OS=PN/8781125RS=PN/8781125

Keywords for this news article include: Georgia Tech Research Corporation, Information Technology, Information and Cryptography.

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Source: Information Technology Newsweekly


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