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Physical Layer Key Generation in 5G and Beyond Wireless Communications: Challenges and Opportunities

1
School of Cyber Science and Engineering, Southeast University, Nanjing 210096, China
2
The National Mobile Communications Research Laboratory, School of Information Science and Engineering, Southeast University, Nanjing 210096, China
3
Department of Electrical Engineering and Electronics, University of Liverpool, Liverpool L69 3GJ, UK
4
Communications Laboratory, Technische Universität Dresden, Germany, 01062 Dresden, Germany
5
Department of Computing, The Hong Kong Polytechnic University, Hung Hom, Kowloon, Hong Kong
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Entropy 2019, 21(5), 497; https://doi.org/10.3390/e21050497
Received: 25 April 2019 / Revised: 9 May 2019 / Accepted: 13 May 2019 / Published: 15 May 2019
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Information-Theoretic Security II)
PDF [795 KB, uploaded 15 May 2019]

Abstract

The fifth generation (5G) and beyond wireless communications will transform many exciting applications and trigger massive data connections with private, confidential, and sensitive information. The security of wireless communications is conventionally established by cryptographic schemes and protocols in which the secret key distribution is one of the essential primitives. However, traditional cryptography-based key distribution protocols might be challenged in the 5G and beyond communications because of special features such as device-to-device and heterogeneous communications, and ultra-low latency requirements. Channel reciprocity-based key generation (CRKG) is an emerging physical layer-based technique to establish secret keys between devices. This article reviews CRKG when the 5G and beyond networks employ three candidate technologies: duplex modes, massive multiple-input multiple-output (MIMO) and mmWave communications. We identify the opportunities and challenges for CRKG and provide corresponding solutions. To further demonstrate the feasibility of CRKG in practical communication systems, we overview existing prototypes with different IoT protocols and examine their performance in real-world environments. This article shows the feasibility and promising performances of CRKG with the potential to be commercialized.
Keywords: physical layer security; secret key generation; in-band full-duplex; massive MIMO; mmWave communications; IoT prototypes physical layer security; secret key generation; in-band full-duplex; massive MIMO; mmWave communications; IoT prototypes
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited (CC BY 4.0).
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Li, G.; Sun, C.; Zhang, J.; Jorswieck, E.; Xiao, B.; Hu, A. Physical Layer Key Generation in 5G and Beyond Wireless Communications: Challenges and Opportunities. Entropy 2019, 21, 497.

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