Enforcing Dynamic Spectrum Access with Spectrum Permits

Lei Yang
Zengbin Zhang
Ben Y. Zhao
Christopher Kruegel
Haitao Zheng

Proceedings of the 13th International Symposium on Mobile Ad Hoc Networking and Computing (MobiHoc 2012)

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Paper Abstract

Dynamic spectrum access is a maturing technology that allows next generation wireless devices to make highly efficient use of wireless spectrum. Spectrum can be allocated on an on-demand basis for a given geographic location, time duration and frequency range. However, a major obstacle to adoption remains. There are no effective solutions to protect licensed users from spectrum misuse, where users transmit without properly licensing spectrum, and in doing so, interfere and disrupt legitimate flows to whom the spectrum is assigned. Given the flexibility of today's cognitive radios, an application can easily transmit on frequencies outside of its allocated range, either accidentally due to misconfiguration, or intentionally to avoid spectrum licensing costs. In this paper, we propose a system to secure dynamic spectrum transmissions, where authorized users embed secure spectrum permits into data transmissions, thus enabling patrolling trusted devices to detect devices transmitting without authorization. We focus our attention on the development of spectrum permits, and describe Gelato, a spectrum misuse detection system that minimizes both hardware costs and performance overhead on legitimate data transmissions.