Robust Wireless Fingerprinting: Generalizing Across Space and Time

  • Our goal is to learn RF signatures that can distinguish between devices sending exactly the same message. This is possible due to subtle hardware imperfections (labeled "nonlinearities" in the figure below) unique to each device.
  • Since the information in RF data resides in complex baseband, we employ CNNs with complex-valued weights to learn these signatures. This technique does not use signal domain knowledge and can be used for any wireless protocol. We demonstrate its effectiveness for two protocols - WiFi and ADS-B.
  • We show that this approach is vulnerable to spoofing when using the entire packet: the CNN focuses on fields containing ID info (eg. MAC ID in WiFi) which can be easily spoofed. When using the preamble alone, reasonably high accuracies are obtained, and performance is significantly enhanced by noise augmentation.
  • We also study robustness to confounding factors in data collected over multiple days and locations, such as the carrier frequency offset (CFO), which drifts over time, and the wireless channel, which depends on the propagation environment. We show that carefully designed data augmentation is critical for learning robust wireless signatures.

This repository contains scripts to simulate the effect of channel and CFO variations on wireless fingerprinting using complex-valued CNNs. This repo also has a simulation-based dataset based on models of some typical nonlinearities. It includes augmentation techniques, estimation techniques, and combinations of the two. The repository consists of 4 folders; namely, cxnn, preproc, tests, data, and a number of scripts outside of these folders (in the main folder).

Source code:

Simulated Dataset

We have created a simulation-based WiFi dataset based on models of some typical nonlinearities. We implement two different kinds of circuit-level impairments: I/Q imbalance and power amplifier nonlinearity. The training dataset consists of 200 signals per device for 19 devices (classes). The validation and test sets contain 100 signals per device. Overall, the dataset contains 3800 signals for training, 1900 signals for validation, and 1900 signals for the test set. The dataset can be downloaded as an npz file from this Box link and needs to be copied into the data subdirectory.

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