CORDIS - EU research results

Context-based authentication in pervasive computing


The CAPER project is motivated by the emergence of pervasive computing environments that are characterised by dynamic networking of mobile devices as well as ambient and embedded devices. A core characteristic associated with such environments is the spontaneous association of devices in wireless networks, to form device configurations that support users flexibly in their tasks. The concrete problem that we will investigate in CAPER is the authentication of pervasive devices how can a user be guaranteed that the device they associate with is indeed the device in front of them.

The security threat is that a malicious device may intercept a wireless service request and assume a fake identity. The method we propose is authentication of pervasive devices based on context sensing. Context sensing is an approach to capture aspects of a users (or devices) situation in the physical world, for example their location. What we propose is context sensing to obtain physical evidence for verification of device authenticity in the process of spontaneous device association. The principal idea, in simple terms, is that a network-discovered entity offers a proof for being identical with a user-discovered physical device by sharing sensor observations that can only originate with the intended device, as verifiable by the user. Context-based authentication is practically uncharted territory.

The aim of this project is to prepare the field by a systematic analysis of the design opportunities and challenges, and by prototyping of experimental systems to gain insights into implementation and deployment issues.

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United Kingdom

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