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SWING: An innovative mechanism to make wireless connections more secure

by IT on 18-07-2016
A team of researcher from IT in Coimbra, University of Coimbra and the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering of the University of Colorado Colorado Springs, coordinated by Marco Gomes (IT) and João Vilela (CISUC), has developed an innovative security technology for wireless networks.

With an international patent application already submitted, this SWING - securing wireless networks with coding and jamming technology is the result of five years of studies and research, a work that has its roots in the IT internal project WINCE – Wireless Interference and Coding for secrecy. The SWING mechanism uses both coding and jamming techniques to intentionally create noise/disturbance in the network. This prevents a possible attacker from decoding the message, without compromising legitimate communications between the end-users.

According to Marco Gomes, “although the aim has been to develop codes capable to ensure safety against an attacker (eg. Eve) while allowing message reliability to the receiver (eg. Bob), until very recently all proposed codes only ensured safety”. The IT researcher explained that by combining error correcting codes and random interleaving techniques (that make forward error correction more robust) a different key is generated for each message sent to Bob. The jamming (interference) effect allows Bob to receive it with advance over Eve. This way, “we have shown to be possible to achieve both reliability and security objectives”.