Effectiveness of Distance-Decreasing Attacks Against Impulse Radio Ranging

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Executive Summary

The authors expose the vulnerability of an emerging wireless ranging technology, Impulse Radio Ultra-Wide Band (IR-UWB), to distance-decreasing attacks on the PHYsical communication layer (PHY). These attacks violate the security of secure ranging protocols that allow two wireless devices to securely estimate the distance between them, with the guarantee that the estimate is an upper-bound on the actual distance. Such protocols serve as crucial building blocks in security-sensitive applications such as location tracking, physical access control, or localization. Prior works show the theoretical possibility of PHY attacks bypassing cryptographic mechanisms used by secure ranging protocols.

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