Shared secret key generation via carrier frequency offsets

Waqas Aman, Aneeqa Ijaz, M. Mahboob Ur Rahman, Dushanta Nalin K. Jayakody, Haris Pervaiz

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution


This work presents a novel method to generate secret keys shared between a legitimate node pair (Alice and Bob) to safeguard the communication between them from an unauthorized node (Eve). To this end, we exploit the reciprocal carrier frequency offset (CFO) between the legitimate node pair to extract common randomness out of it to generate shared secret keys. The proposed key generation algorithm involves standard steps: the legitimate nodes exchange binary phase-shift keying (BPSK) signals to perform blind CFO estimation on the received signals, and do equi-probable quantization of the noisy CFO estimates followed by information reconciliation-to distil a shared secret key. Furthermore, guided by the Allan deviation curve, we distinguish between the two frequency-stability regimes-when the randomly time-varying CFO process i) has memory, ii) is memoryless; thereafter, we compute the key generation rate for both regimes. Simulation results show that the key disagreement rate decreases exponentially with increase in the signal to noise ratio of the link between Alice and Bob. Additionally, the decipher probability of Eve decreases as soon as either of the two links observed by the Eve becomes more degraded compared to the link between Alice and Bob.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publication2019 IEEE 89th Vehicular Technology Conference, VTC Spring 2019 - Proceedings
PublisherInstitute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers Inc.
ISBN (Electronic)9781728112176
Publication statusPublished - 1 Apr 2019
Event89th IEEE Vehicular Technology Conference, VTC Spring 2019 - Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
Duration: 28 Apr 20191 May 2019

Publication series

NameIEEE Vehicular Technology Conference
ISSN (Print)1550-2252


Conference89th IEEE Vehicular Technology Conference, VTC Spring 2019
CityKuala Lumpur

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Computer Science Applications
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering
  • Applied Mathematics

Fingerprint Dive into the research topics of 'Shared secret key generation via carrier frequency offsets'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this