Incorporating Obfuscation Techniques in Privacy Preserving Database-Driven Dynamic Spectrum Access Systems

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Virginia Tech

Modern innovation is a driving force behind increased spectrum crowding. Several studies performed by the National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA), Federal Communications Commission (FCC), and other groups have proposed Dynamic Spectrum Access (DSA) as a promising solution to alleviate spectrum crowding. The spectrum assignment decisions in DSA will be made by a centralized entity referred to as as spectrum access system (SAS); however, maintaining spectrum utilization information in SAS presents privacy risks, as sensitive Incumbent User (IU) operation parameters are required to be stored by SAS in order to perform spectrum assignments properly. These sensitive operation parameters may potentially be compromised if SAS is the target of a cyber attack or an inference attack executed by a secondary user (SU).

In this thesis, we explore the operational security of IUs in SAS-based DSA systems and propose a novel privacy-preserving SAS-based DSA framework, Suspicion Zone SAS (SZ-SAS), the first such framework which protects against both the scenario of inference attacks in an area with sparsely distributed IUs and the scenario of untrusted or compromised SAS. We then define modifications to the SU inference attack algorithm, which demonstrate the necessity of applying obfuscation to SU query responses. Finally, we evaluate obfuscation schemes which are compatible with SZ-SAS, verifying the effectiveness of such schemes in preventing an SU inference attack. Our results show SZ-SAS is capable of utilizing compatible obfuscation schemes to prevent the SU inference attack, while operating using only homomorphically encrypted IU operation parameters.

Dynamic Spectrum Access, Inference Attack, Spectrum Efficiency, Homomorphic Encryption