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Countermeasure Against Unwanted Wireless Surveillance

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The intelligent reflecting surface IRShield is positioned next to a Wi-Fi router for obfuscation of the environment-dependent wireless channel.

Credit: Michael Schwettmann/CASA

Researchers from Germany's Max Planck Institute for Security and Privacy, Ruhr-Universität Bochum, and the Cologne University of Applied Sciences have developed a system to protect privacy in wireless communications based on intelligent reflective surfaces (IRS).

To prevent passive eavesdroppers from obtaining sensitive data transmitted through intercepted high-frequency signals, the team created IRS, which distributes many reflective elements over a surface and electronically adjusts the reflective behavior of each.

Their IRShield solution uses an algorithm to create a random IRS configuration that disguises wireless channels so attackers are unable to read information about movements in the room from the signal.

In testing, the researchers found IRShield was able to thwart 95% of such attacks.

From Ruhr-Universität Bochum (Germany)
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