Securing Multi-Layer Communications: A Signal Processing Approach
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Security is becoming a major concern in this information era. The development in wireless communications, networking technology, personal computing devices, and software engineering has led to numerous emerging applications whose security requirements are beyond the framework of conventional cryptography. The primary motivation of this dissertation research is to develop new approaches to the security problems in secure communication systems, without unduly increasing the complexity and cost of the entire system. Signal processing techniques have been widely applied in communication systems. In this dissertation, we investigate the potential, the mechanism, and the performance of incorporating signal processing techniques into various layers along the chain of secure information processing. For example, for application-layer data confidentiality, we have proposed atomic encryption operations for multimedia data that can preserve standard compliance and are friendly to communications and delegate processing. For multimedia authentication, we have discovered the potential key disclosure problem for popular image hashing schemes, and proposed mitigation solutions. In physical-layer wireless communications, we have discovered the threat of signal garbling attack from compromised relay nodes in the emerging cooperative communication paradigm, and proposed a countermeasure to trace and pinpoint the adversarial relay. For the design and deployment of secure sensor communications, we have proposed two sensor location adjustment algorithms for mobility-assisted sensor deployment that can jointly optimize sensing coverage and secure communication connectivity. Furthermore, for general scenarios of group key management, we have proposed a time-efficient key management scheme that can improve the scalability of contributory key management from O(log n) to O(log(log n)) using scheduling and optimization techniques. This dissertation demonstrates that signal processing techniques, along with optimization, scheduling, and beneficial techniques from other related fields of study, can be successfully integrated into security solutions in practical communication systems. The fusion of different technical disciplines can take place at every layer of a secure communication system to strengthen communication security and improve performance-security tradeoff.