Physical layer secret-key generation with discreet cosine transform for the Internet of Things

George Margelis, Xenofon Fafoutis, George Oikonomou, Robert Piechocki, Theo Tryfonas, Paul Thomas

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference Contribution (Conference Proceeding)

35 Citations (Scopus)
398 Downloads (Pure)


The confidentiality of communications in the Internet of Things (IoT) is critical, with cryptography currently being the most widely employed method of ensuring it. Establishing cryptographically secure communication links between two transceivers requires the pre-agreement on some key, unknown to an external attacker. In recent years there has been growing attention in techniques that generate a shared random key through observation of the channel and its effects on the exchanged messages. In this work we present SKYGlow, a novel scheme for secret-key generation, designed for IoT devices, such as IEEE 802.15.4 and Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE) transceivers. SKYGlow employs the Discreet Cosine Transform (DCT) of channel observations and Slepian-Wolf coding for information reconciliation. Real-life experiments have resulted in the creation of 128-bit secret keys with only 65 packet exchanges and with an entropy of 0.9978 bits, making our scheme much more energy-efficient compared with others in the existing literature.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publication2017 IEEE International Conference on Communications (ICC 2017)
Subtitle of host publicationProceedings of a meeting held 21-25 May 2017, Paris, France
PublisherInstitute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE)
Number of pages6
ISBN (Electronic)9781467389990
ISBN (Print)9781467390002
Publication statusPublished - Nov 2017
Event2017 IEEE International Conference on Communications, ICC 2017 - Paris, France
Duration: 21 May 201725 May 2017

Publication series

ISSN (Print)1938-1883


Conference2017 IEEE International Conference on Communications, ICC 2017


  • Secret-Key
  • DCT
  • physical layer
  • physical layer security


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