DoubleEcho: Mitigating Context-Manipulation Attacks in Copresence Verification

AuthorTruong, Hien Thi Thu; Toivonen, Juhani; Nguyen, Thien Duc; Soriente, Claudio; Tarkoma, Sasu; Asokan, N.
TypeConference Proceedings
AbstractCopresence verification based on context can improve usability and strengthen security of many authentication and access control systems. By sensing and comparing their surroundings, two or more devices can tell whether they are copresent and use such information to make access control decisions. To the best of our knowledge, all context-based copresence verification mechanisms to date are susceptible to context-manipulation attacks. In such attacks, a distributed adversary replicates the same context at the (different) locations of the victim devices, and induces them to conclude that they are copresent. In this paper we propose DoubleEcho, a copresence verification scheme based on acoustic Room Impulse Response (RIR) that mitigates context-manipulation attacks. In DoubleEcho, one device emits a short, wide-band audible chirp and all participating devices record reflections of the chirp from the surrounding environment. Since RIR is, by its very nature, dependent on the physical surroundings, it constitutes a unique location signature that is hard for an adversary to replicate. We evaluate DoubleEcho by collecting RIR data with various mobile devices and in different locations. DoubleEcho exhibits robustness to context-manipulation attacks with a false positive rate can be as low as 0.089, whereas all other approaches to date are entirely vulnerable to such attacks. The false negative rate can be as low as 0.021. DoubleEcho detects copresence (or lack thereof) in roughly 2 seconds and works on commodity devices.
ConferenceIEEE International Conference on Pervasive Computing and Communications (PerCom2019)