Practical aspects of physical and MAC layer security in visible light communication systems

Grzegorz J Blinowski


Abstract— Visible light communication (VLC) has been recently proposed as an alternative standard to radio-based wireless networks. Originally developed as a physical media for PANs (Personal area Networks) it evolved into universal WLAN technology with a capability to transport internet suite of network and application level protocols. Because of its physical characteristics, and in line with the slogan "what you see is what you send", VLC is considered a secure communication method. In this work we focus on security aspects of VLC communication, starting from basic physical characteristics of the communication channel. We analyze the risks of signal jamming, data snooping and data modification. We also discuss MAC-level security mechanisms as defined in the IEEE 802.15.7 standard. This paper is an extension of work originally reported in Proceedings of the 13th IFAC and IEEE Conference on Programmable Devices and Embedded Systems — PDES 2015.

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