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Tuesday, August 9 • 3:00pm - 3:30pm
Sampling Race: Bypassing Timing-Based Analog Active Sensor Spoofing Detection on Analog-Digital Systems

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Sensors and actuators are essential components of cyberphysical systems. They establish the bridge between cyber systems and the real world, enabling these systems to appropriately react to external stimuli. Among the various types of sensors, active sensors are particularly well suited to remote sensing applications, and are widely adopted for many safety critical systems such as automobiles, unmanned aerial vehicles, and medical devices. However, active sensors are vulnerable to spoofing attacks, despite their critical role in such systems. They cannot adopt conventional challenge-response authentication procedures with the object of measurement, because they cannot determine the response signal in advance, and their emitted signal is transparently delivered to the attacker as well.

Recently, PyCRA, a physical challenge-response authentication scheme for active sensor spoofing detection has been proposed. Although it is claimed to be both robust and generalizable, we discovered a fundamental vulnerability that allows an attacker to circumvent detection. In this paper, we show that PyCRA can be completely bypassed, both by theoretical analysis and by real-world experiment. For the experiment, we implemented authentication mechanism of PyCRA on a real-world medical drop counter, and successfully bypassed it, with only a low-cost microcontroller and a couple of crude electrical components. This shows that there is currently no effective robust and generalizable defense scheme against active sensor spoofing attacks.

Tuesday August 9, 2016 3:00pm - 3:30pm PDT
Texas Ballroom 1

Attendees (3)