Algorithmic Detection of Adversarial Attacks on Message Transmission and ACK/NACK Feedback

Holger Boche, Rafael F. Schaefer, H. Vincent Poor

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

5 Scopus citations


For communication systems there is a recent trend towards shifting functionalities from the physical layer to higher layers by enabling software-focused solutions. Having obtained a (physical layer-based) description of the communication channel, such approaches exploit this knowledge to enable various services by subsequently processing it on higher layers. For this it is a crucial task to first find out in which state the underlying communication channel is. This paper develops a framework based on Turing machines and studies whether or not it is in principle possible to algorithmically decide in which state the communication system is. It is shown that there exists no Turing machine that takes the physical description of the communication channel as an input and solves a non-trivial classification task. Subsequently, this general result is used to study communication under adversarial attacks and it is shown that it is impossible to algorithmically detect denial-of-service (DoS) attacks on the transmission. Jamming attacks on ACK/NACK feedback cannot be detected as well and, in addition, ACK/NACK feedback is shown to be useless for the detection of DoS attacks on the actual message transmission.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationICC 2021 - IEEE International Conference on Communications, Proceedings
PublisherInstitute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers Inc.
ISBN (Electronic)9781728171227
StatePublished - Jun 2021
Externally publishedYes
Event2021 IEEE International Conference on Communications, ICC 2021 - Virtual, Online, Canada
Duration: Jun 14 2021Jun 23 2021

Publication series

NameIEEE International Conference on Communications
ISSN (Print)1550-3607


Conference2021 IEEE International Conference on Communications, ICC 2021
CityVirtual, Online

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Computer Networks and Communications
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering


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