Security by Spatial Reference: Using Relative Positioning to Authenticate Devices for Spontaneous Interaction


Spontaneous interaction is a desirable characteristic associated with mobile and ubiquitous computing. The aim is to enable users to connect their personal devices with devices encountered in their environment in order to take advantage of interaction opportunities in accordance with their situation. However, it is difficult to secure spontaneous interaction as this requires authentication of the encountered device, in the absence of any prior knowledge of the device. In this paper we present a method for establishing and securing spontaneous interactions on the basis of emphspatial references that capture the spatial relationship of the involved devices. Spatial references are obtained by accurate sensing of relative device positions, presented to the user for initiation of interactions, and used in a peer authentication protocol that exploits a novel mechanism for message transfer over ultrasound to ensures spatial authenticity of the sender.

Proc. Ubicomp 2007: 9th International Conference on Ubiquitous Computing