Anchor of trust: towards collusion-resistant trusted indoor location for enterprise and industrial use


Reliable location estimation has been a key enabler of many applications in the UbiComp space. Much progress has been made on the development of accurate of indoor location systems, which form the foundation of many interesting applications, particularly in consumer scenarios. However, many location-based applications in enterprise settings also require addressing another facet of reliability: assurance. Without having strong guarantees of a location estimate’s legitimacy, stakeholders must explicitly balance the advantages offered with the risks of falsification. In this space, there are two key threats: replay attacks, where signal and sensor information is collected in one location and replayed in another to falsify a location estimation later in time; and wormhole attacks, where signal and sensor information is forwarded to a remote location by a colluding device to falsify location estimation in real-time. In this work, we improve upon the state of the art in wormhole-resistant location estimation techniques. Specifically, we present the Location Anchor, which leverages a combination of technical solutions and social contracts to provide high-assurance proofs of device location that are resistant to wormhole attacks. Unlike existing work, the Location Anchor has minimal hardware costs, supports a rich tapestry of applications, and is compatible with commodity smartphone and tablet platforms. We show that the Location Anchor can extend existing replay-resistant location systems into wormhole-resistant location systems, even in the face of very aggressive attacker assumptions. We describe the protocols underlying the Location Anchor, as well as report on the efficacy of a prototype implementation.