University of Hawaii

Electrical Engineering

Traffic Signature-based Mobile Device Location Authentication

Date: 2013-01-16
Time: 500PM - 600PM
Location: Holmes 485 (EE Conference Room)
Speaker: Jack Brassil, HP Laboratories


Spontaneous and robust mobile device location authentication can be realized by supplementing existing 802.11x APs with femtocells. We show that by transferring data to a mobile computing device associated with a femtocell while remotely monitoring its ingress traffic activity, any internet-connected sender can verify the cooperating receiver's location. We describe a prototype femtocell-based location authentication system we constructed, and explain how to design data transmissions with distinct, discernable traffic signatures. Using both analytical modeling and empirical results from our implementation, we demonstrate that these signatures can be reliably detected even in the presence of heavy cross-traffic introduced by other femtocell users.


Jack Brassil received the B.S. degree from the Polytechnic Institute of New York in 1981, the M.Eng. degree from Cornell University in 1982, and the Ph.D. degree from the University of California, San Diego, in 1991, all in electrical engineering.

Dr. Brassil has been with Hewlett-Packard Laboratories since 1999. He currently is a Research Scientist and Program Manager in Princeton, NJ. Before joining HP he held multiple research positions at Bell Laboratories in Murray Hill and Holmdel, NJ. Dr. Brassil is an IEEE Fellow, a member of the IEEE Communications Society, a member of the ACM, and a member of ACM SIGCOMM.