On Secure Shared Key Establishment for Mobile Devices using Contextual Information Conference Paper uri icon


  • 2015 IEEE. In this paper we first show that the Wi-Fi Protected Setup (WPS) protocol (used by Wi-Fi Direct, the de facto adhoc communication mechanism for smartphones and mobile devices) is vulnerable to a brute-force or dictionary attack. To defend against these attacks, we propose the idea of using contextual information (i.e., data obtained from mobile device's sensors) to establish a long (128 bits) secure session key between two Wi-Fi Direct enabled devices, instead of using the keypad. Our solution, Session Key Generated from Sensors (SekGens) employs three phases. In the Quantization Phase, the key is iteratively generated based on different sensors' data. In the Reconciliation Phase, the two devices eliminate minor differences in the bits of their keys by using the Cascade reconciliation mechanism. In the Privacy-Amplification-and-Hashing Phase, the two devices omit all bits exposed during the reconciliation phase and apply hashing to the remaining secret bits. SekGens is implemented and evaluated by modifying the Android kernel code responsible for WPS in Google Nexus 5 and Samsung Galaxy S2 smartphones. The results show that SekGens generates keys with low mismatch ratio (less than 3%), at a fast rate (20 bits/sec), and with high entropy (92%).

name of conference

  • 2015 IEEE 34th International Performance Computing and Communications Conference (IPCCC)

published proceedings


author list (cited authors)

  • Altaweel, A., Stoleru, R., & Mandal, S.

citation count

  • 2

complete list of authors

  • Altaweel, Ala'||Stoleru, Radu||Mandal, Subhajit

publication date

  • December 2015