Open Access

Physical Layer Built-In Security Analysis and Enhancement Algorithms for CDMA Systems

EURASIP Journal on Wireless Communications and Networking20072007:083589

Received: 18 July 2006

Accepted: 20 January 2007

Published: 19 March 2007


Historically developed for secure communication and military use, CDMA has been identified as a major modulation and multiple-access technique for 3G systems and beyond. In addition to the wide bandwidth and low power-spectrum density which make CDMA signals robust to narrowband jamming and easy to be concealed within the noise floor, the physical layer built-in information privacy of CDMA system is provided by pseudorandom scrambling. In this paper, first, security weakness of the operational and proposed CDMA airlink interfaces is analyzed. Second, based on the advanced encryption standard (AES), we propose to enhance the physical layer built-in security of CDMA systems through secure scrambling. Performance analysis demonstrates that while providing significantly improved information privacy, CDMA systems with secure scrambling have comparable computational complexity and overall system performance with that of conventionally scrambled systems. Moreover, it is shown that by scrambling the training sequence and the message sequence separately with two independent scrambling sequences, both information privacy and system performance can be further improved. The proposed scheme can readily be applied to 3G systems and beyond.


Authors’ Affiliations

Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering, Michigan State University


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© Tongtong Li et al. 2007

This article is published under license to BioMed Central Ltd. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.