Abstract: Close physical proximity among wireless devices that have never shared a secret key is sometimes used as a basis of trust. In these cases, devices in close proximity are deemed trustworthy while more distant devices are viewed as potential adversaries. Because radio waves are invisible, however, a user may believe a wireless device is communicating with a nearby device when in fact the user's device is communicating with a distant adversary. Researchers have previously proposed methods for multi-antenna devices to ascertain physical proximity with other devices, but devices with a single antenna, such as those commonly used in the Internet of Things, cannot take advantage of these techniques. We investigate a method for a single-antenna Wi-Fi device to quickly determine proximity with another Wi-Fi device. Our approach leverages the repeating nature Wi-Fi's preamble and the characteristics of a transmitting antenna's near field to detect proximity with high probability. Our method never falsely declares proximity at ranges longer than 14 cm.
Copyright © 2018 by ACM.The copy made available here is the authors' version; for a definitive copy see the publisher's version described above.
See also later version pierson:snap.