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Defeating Eavesdroppers with Ambient Backscatter Communications

Huynh, Nguyen Van; Quang Hieu, Nguyen; Chu, Nam H.; Nguyen, Diep N.; Hoang, Dinh Thai; Dutkiewicz, Eryk


Nguyen Quang Hieu

Nam H. Chu

Diep N. Nguyen

Dinh Thai Hoang

Eryk Dutkiewicz


Unlike conventional anti-eavesdropping methods that always require additional energy or computing resources (e.g., in friendly jamming and cryptography-based solutions), this work proposes a novel anti-eavesdropping solution that comes with mostly no extra power nor computing resource requirement. This is achieved by leveraging the ambient backscatter technology in which secret information can be transmitted by backscattering it over ambient radio signals. Specifically, the original message at the transmitter is first encoded into two parts: (i) active transmit message and (ii) backscatter message. The active transmit message is then transmitted by using the conventional wireless transmission method while the backscatter message is transmitted by backscattering it on the active transmit signals via an ambient backscatter tag. As the backscatter tag does not generate any active RF signals, it is intractable for the eavesdropper to detect the backscatter message. Therefore, secret information, e.g., a secret key for decryption, can be carried by the backscattered message, making the adversary unable to decode the original message. Simulation results demonstrate that our proposed solution can significantly enhance security protection for communication systems.


Huynh, N. V., Quang Hieu, N., Chu, N. H., Nguyen, D. N., Hoang, D. T., & Dutkiewicz, E. (2023). Defeating Eavesdroppers with Ambient Backscatter Communications. In 2023 IEEE Wireless Communications and Networking Conference (WCNC) Proceedings.

Conference Name 2023 IEEE Wireless Communications and Networking Conference (WCNC)
Conference Location Glasgow
Start Date Mar 26, 2023
End Date Mar 29, 2023
Acceptance Date Dec 9, 2022
Online Publication Date May 12, 2023
Publication Date 2023
Deposit Date May 23, 2023
Publisher Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers
Series ISSN 1558-2612
Book Title 2023 IEEE Wireless Communications and Networking Conference (WCNC) Proceedings
ISBN 9781665491235
Keywords Eavesdropper, green communications, ambient backscatter communications, signal detection, physical layer security