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Sensors 2010, 10(12), 11369-11389; doi:10.3390/s101211369

Reliable Location-Based Services from Radio Navigation Systems

1
Aeronautics & Astronautics Department, Stanford University, Durand Building, Stanford, CA 94305, USA
2
Computer Science Department, Stanford University, Gates 475, Stanford, CA 94305, USA
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 25 October 2010 / Revised: 16 November 2010 / Accepted: 9 December 2010 / Published: 13 December 2010
(This article belongs to the Section Physical Sensors)
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Abstract

Loran is a radio-based navigation system originally designed for naval applications. We show that Loran-C’s high-power and high repeatable accuracy are fantastic for security applications. First, we show how to derive a precise location tag—with a sensitivity of about 20 meters—that is difficult to project to an exact location. A device can use our location tag to block or allow certain actions, without knowing its precise location. To ensure that our tag is reproducible we make use of fuzzy extractors, a mechanism originally designed for biometric authentication. We build a fuzzy extractor specifically designed for radio-type errors and give experimental evidence to show its effectiveness. Second, we show that our location tag is difficult to predict from a distance. For example, an observer cannot predict the location tag inside a guarded data center from a few hundreds of meters away. As an application, consider a location-aware disk drive that will only work inside the data center. An attacker who steals the device and is capable of spoofing Loran-C signals, still cannot make the device work since he does not know what location tag to spoof. We provide experimental data supporting our unpredictability claim.
Keywords: Loran-C; location-based security; location tag Loran-C; location-based security; location tag
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY 3.0).

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Qiu, D.; Boneh, D.; Lo, S.; Enge, P. Reliable Location-Based Services from Radio Navigation Systems. Sensors 2010, 10, 11369-11389.

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