Toward Privacy-Preserving and Secure Dynamic Spectrum Access

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Virginia Tech

Dynamic spectrum access (DSA) technique has been widely accepted as a crucial solution to mitigate the potential spectrum scarcity problem. Spectrum sharing between the government incumbents and commercial wireless broadband operators/users is one of the key forms of DSA. Two categories of spectrum management methods for shared use between incumbent users (IUs) and secondary users (SUs) have been proposed, i.e., the server-driven method and the sensing-based method. The server-driven method employs a central server to allocate spectrum resources while considering incumbent protection. The central server has access to the detailed IU operating information, and based on some accurate radio propagation model, it is able to allocate spectrum following a particular access enforcement method. Two types of access enforcement methods -- exclusion zone and protection zone -- have been adopted for server-driven DSA systems in the current literature. The sensing-based method is based on recent advances in cognitive radio (CR) technology. A CR can dynamically identify white spaces through various incumbent detection techniques and reconfigure its radio parameters in response to changes of spectrum availability. The focus of this dissertation is to address critical privacy and security issues in the existing DSA systems that may severely hinder the progress of DSA's deployment in the real world.

Firstly, we identify serious threats to users' privacy in existing server-driven DSA designs and propose a privacy-preserving design named P²-SAS to address the issue. P²-SAS realizes the complex spectrum allocation process of protection-zone-based DSA in a privacy-preserving way through Homomorphic Encryption (HE), so that none of the IU or SU operation data would be exposed to any snooping party, including the central server itself.

Secondly, we develop a privacy-preserving design named IP-SAS for the exclusion-zone- based server-driven DSA system. We extend the basic design that only considers semi- honest adversaries to include malicious adversaries in order to defend the more practical and complex attack scenarios that can happen in the real world.

Thirdly, we redesign our privacy-preserving SAS systems entirely to remove the somewhat- trusted third party (TTP) named Key Distributor, which in essence provides a weak proxy re-encryption online service in P²-SAS and IP-SAS. Instead, in this new system, RE-SAS, we leverage a new crypto system that supports both a strong proxy re-encryption notion and MPC to realize privacy-preserving spectrum allocation. The advantages of RE-SAS are that it can prevent single point of vulnerability due to TTP and also increase SAS's service performance dramatically.

Finally, we identify the potentially crucial threat of compromised CR devices to the ambient wireless infrastructures and propose a scalable and accurate zero-day malware detection system called GuardCR to enhance CR network security at the device level. GuardCR leverages a host-based anomaly detection technique driven by machine learning, which makes it autonomous in malicious behavior recognition. We boost the performance of GuardCR in terms of accuracy and efficiency by integrating proper domain knowledge of CR software.

Dynamic spectrum access, Cognitive radio networks, Privacy-preserving system, Malware detection, Machine learning, Homomorphic encryption, Proxy re-encryption