[THESIS DEFENSE] Baptiste Pestourie - "UWB Secure Ranging and Localization"

on the December 4, 2020

Baptiste Pestourie will defend his PhD Thesis entitled "UWB Secure Ranging and Localization" supervised by Vincent Beroulle & Nicolas Fourty (LCIS)
Due to the sanitary context, the defense will be held virtually. Please contact Baptiste Pestourie for more information (see below).


"Location services are foreseen as one of the major IoT features in the next years, and have gained a lot of interest over the last decade from the literature of Wireless Sensors Networks, (WSN) and Vehicular Ad Hoc Networks (VANet). Impulse-Radio Ultra-Wideband (UWB), standardized in IEEE 802.15.4-2003, is currently the most performant radio positioning technology with centimeter-level accuracy and is used widely in industrial applications.
It has been proven in the literature that UWB positioning is not completely tamper-proof, as various physical and link layers vulnerabilities have been identified in 802.15.4. Most of the major attacks against IR-UWB are physical-level attacks, such as Early-Detection/Late-Commit (ED/LC). Considering their cost, complexity, and sometimes lack of maturity, they are not necessarily the most realistic attacks against cheap IoT systems. On the other hand, protocol-level flaws expose IR-UWB positioning against attacks that can be mounted with limited expertise and cheap hardware.
Hence, the aim of this work is to identify the most critical vulnerabilities of 802.15.4 IR-UWB, evaluate real-world attacks against UWB IPS and propose low-cost countermeasures suitable for IoT applications. An open platform for IR-UWB positioning security evaluation, SecureLoc, is part of the contributions.
We propose and evaluate various spoofed acknowledgment-based attack schemes against IR-UWB. Several countermeasures, at the physical, medium access control and system level, are proposed, including notably a novel weak PUF-based authentication protocol, a spoofing resilient acknowledgment scheme, a tamper-proof ranging approach, and a cooperative verification protocol for rogue node detection.
All the proposed attacks and countermeasures have been implemented and evaluated on SecureLoc."

Defense jury

  • François Spies (PR, Université de Franche-Comté), Examinateur, Chairman
  • Adrien Van den Bossche (MCF HDR, Université de Toulouse 2), Referee
  • Aurélien Francillon (PR, Eurecom), Referee
  • Assia Tria (Ingénieur HDR, CEA Leti), Examiner
  • Vincent Beroulle (PR, Université Grenoble-Alpes), Thesis supervisor
Published on November 26, 2020

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