V-Range: Enabling Secure Ranging in 5G Wireless Networks

Singh, Mridula and Roeschlin, Marc and Ranganathan, Aanjhan and Capkun, Srdjan
(2022) V-Range: Enabling Secure Ranging in 5G Wireless Networks.
In: NDSS 2022, 24 - 28 April 2022, San Diego, California.
Conference: NDSS Network and Distributed System Security Symposium
(In Press)


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A number of safety- and security-critical applications such as asset tracking, smart ecosystems, autonomous vehicles and driver assistance functions, etc., are expected to benefit from the position information available through 5G. Driven by the aim to support such a wide-array of location-aware services and applications, the current release of 5G seeks to explore ranging and positioning as an integral part of 5G technology. In recent years, many attacks on positioning and ranging systems have been demonstrated, and hence it is important to build 5G systems that are resilient to distance and location manipulation attacks. No existing proposal either by 3GPP or the research community addresses the challenges of secure position estimation in 5G. In this paper, we develop V-Range, the first secure ranging system that is fully compatible with 5G standards and can be implemented directly on top of existing 5G-NR transceivers. We design V-Range, a system capable of executing secure ranging operations resilient to both distance enlargement and reduction attacks. We experimentally verify that V-Range achieves high precision, low-latency, and can operate in both the sub-6GHz and mm-wave bands intended for 5G. Our results show that an attacker cannot reduce or increase the distance by more than the imprecision of the system, without being detected with high probability.


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