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Physical Layer Security for the Internet of Things: Authentication and Key Generation

A low-complexity, yet secure framework is proposed for protecting the Internet of Things (IoT) and for achieving both authentication and secure communication. In particular, the slight random difference among transceivers is extracted for creating a unique radio frequency fingerprint and for ascertaining the unique user identity. The wireless channel between any two users is a perfect source of randomness and can be exploited as cryptographic keys. This can be applied to the physical layer of the communications protocol stack. This article reviews these protocols and shows how they can be integrated to provide a complete IoT security framework. We conclude by outlining the future challenges in applying these compelling physical layer security techniques to the IoT.

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