Physical layer security: Authentication, integrity, and confidentiality

Mahdi Shakiba-Herfeh, Arsenia Chorti, H. Vincent Poor

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

45 Scopus citations


The goal of physical layer security (PLS) is to make use of the properties of the physical layer-including the wireless communication medium and/or the transceiver hardware-to enable critical aspects of secure communications. In particular, PLS can be employed to provide (a) node authentication, (b) message authentication, and (c) message confidentiality. Unlike the corresponding classical cryptographic approaches which are all based on computational security, PLS's added strength is that it is based on information theoretic security, in which no limitation with respect to the opponent's computational power is assumed and is therefore inherently quantum resistant. In this survey, we review the aforementioned fundamental aspects of PLS, starting with node authentication, moving to the information theoretic characterization of message integrity, and finally, discussing message confidentiality both in the secret key generation from shared randomness and from the wiretap channel point of view. The aim of this review is to provide a comprehensive road-map on important relevant results by the authors and other contributors and discuss open issues on the applicability of PLS in sixth generation systems.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationPhysical Layer Security
PublisherSpringer International Publishing
Number of pages22
ISBN (Electronic)9783030553661
ISBN (Print)9783030553654
StatePublished - Jan 24 2021
Externally publishedYes

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • General Engineering
  • General Computer Science
  • General Physics and Astronomy


  • Confidentiality
  • Key generation
  • Message integrity
  • Node authentication
  • Physical layer security
  • Physical unclonable function
  • RF fingerprinting
  • Secrecy encoder
  • Shared randomness


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