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Jamming-resistant Broadcast Communication without Shared Keys

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USENIX 2009, Montreal

Jamming-resistant broadcast communication is crucial for safety-critical applications such as emergency alert broadcasts or the dissemination of navigation signals in adversarial settings. These applications share the need for guaranteed authenticity and availability of messages which are broadcasted by base stations to a large and unknown number of (potentially untrusted) receivers. Common techniques to counter jamming attacks such as Direct-Sequence Spread Spectrum (DSSS) and Frequency Hopping are based on secrets that need to be shared between the sender and the receivers before the start of the communication. However, broadcast antijamming communication that relies on either secret pairwise or group keys is likely to be subject to scalability and key-setup problems or provides weak jammingresistance, respectively. In this work, we therefore propose a solution called Uncoordinated DSSS (UDSSS) that enables spread-spectrum anti-jamming broadcast communication without the requirement of shared secrets. It is applicable to broadcast scenarios in which receivers hold an authentic public key of the sender but do not share a secret key with it. UDSSS can handle an unlimited amount of receivers while being secure against malicious receivers. We analyze the security and latency of UDSSS and complete our work with an experimental evaluation on a prototype implementation.