Toward attack-resistant localization under infrastructure attacks


Jie Yang, Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering, Stevens Institute of Technology, Castle Point on Hudson, Hoboken, NJ 07030, U.S.A.



Trustworthy location information is important because it is a critical input to a wide variety of location-based applications. However, the localization infrastructure is vulnerable to physical attacks, and consequently, the localization results are affected. In this paper, we aim to achieve robust localization under infrastructure attacks. We first investigated the impact of infrastructure attacks on localization and showed that the performance of location estimations degraded significantly under the attack. We then derived an attack-resistant scheme that is not algorithm specific and can be integrated with existing localization algorithms. Our attack-resistant scheme exploited the characteristics of the geometric patterns returned by location estimates under the attack; that is, the localization results of a wireless device under the normal situation were clearly clustered together, whereas the localization results were scattered when an attack was present. Thus, our attack-resistant scheme is grounded on K-means clustering analysis of intra-distance of localization results from all possible combinations of any three access points. To evaluate the effectiveness and scalability of our proposed scheme, we used received signal strength for validation and applied our approach to three broad classes of localization algorithms: lateration based, fingerprint matching, and Bayesian networks. We validated our scheme in the ORBIT test bed (North Brunswick, NJ, USA) using an 802.11 (Wi-Fi) network and in a real office building environment using an 802.15.4 (ZigBee) network. The extensive experimental results demonstrated that the application of our scheme could help the broad range of localization algorithms to achieve comparable or even better localization performance when under infrastructure attacks as compared with normal situations without attack, thus, effectively eliminating the effects of infrastructure attacks. Copyright © 2011 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.