Rick Blum, Robert W. Wieseman Professor of Electrical and Computer engineering and former grad student Jake Perazzone '17G '20 PhD are members of a research team recently awarded a patent for "inventing a practical method for Army wireless devices to covertly authenticate and communicate," as announced by the U.S. Army Combat Capabilities Development Command Army Research Laboratory.

According to the news release: 

Authentication is one of the core pillars of wireless communications security, along with secrecy and privacy. The value of authentication in a military setting is readily apparent and mandatory.

Receivers verify that an incoming transmission did indeed come from an ally and not a malicious adversary, therefore maintaining the integrity of communications. This invention, in particular, greatly increases an adversary’s difficulty in impersonating an ally.

The team, which includes Army researchers Paul Yu and Brian Sadler, have invented a method to perform two tasks simultaneously: verifying the authenticity of wireless communications and communicating secret information.

Typically one or the other is done, but not both.

Read more about the invention that "utilizes a shared key to create a secret code book, which is used to achieve authentication and establish an additional secure communications channel," on the U.S. Army website.  

Rick Blum

Prof. Rick Blum is the lead Lehigh PI for our DoE Cybersecurity Center (SEEDs) and directs the Integrated Networks for Electricity Cluster Director and Lehigh's Signal Processing and Communication Research Lab.