[Resource Topic] 2007/246: BEDA: Button-Enabled Device Pairing

Welcome to the resource topic for 2007/246

BEDA: Button-Enabled Device Pairing

Authors: Claudio Soriente, Gene Tsudik, Ersin Uzun


Secure initial pairing of electronic gadgets is a challenging problem, especially considering lack of any common security infrastructure. The main security issue is the threat of so-called Man-in-the-Middle (MiTM) attacks, whereby an attacker inserts itself into the pairing protocol by impersonating one of the legitimate parties. A number of interesting techniques have been proposed, all of which involve the user in the pairing process. However, they are inapplicable to many common scenarios where devices to-be-paired do not possess required interfaces, such as displays, speakers, cameras or microphones. In this paper, we introduce BEDA (Button-Enabled Device Association), a protocol suite for secure pairing devices with minimal user interfaces. The most common and minimal interface available on wide variety of devices is a single button. BEDA protocols can accommodate pairing scenarios where one (or even both) devices only have a single button as their “user interface”. Our usability study demonstrates that BEDA protocols involve very little human burden and are quite suitable for ordinary users.

ePrint: https://eprint.iacr.org/2007/246

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