Securing Massive MIMO Systems: Secrecy for Free with Low-Complexity Architectures

Ali Bereyhi, Saba Asaad, Ralf R. Muller, Rafael F. Schaefer, Georg Fischer, H. Vincent Poor

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Scopus citations


Passively overheard massive multiple-input multiple-output (MIMO) settings are capable of suppressing eavesdroppers via narrow beamforming towards legitimate receivers. This implies that secrecy is obtained almost for free in these settings. This study shows that this is a valid property for a large class of low-complexity massive MIMO transmitters. The investigations consider two dominant approaches for complexity reduction, namely antenna selection and hybrid analog-digital precoding. It is shown that using either approach, the information leakage per achievable sum-rate vanishes as the number of transmit antennas grows large. The results demonstrate that, as the transmit array size grows large, the normalized information leakage obtained by antenna selection and hybrid analog-digital precoding converges to zero double-logarithmically and logarithmically, respectively. The analytical results are confirmed for various benchmark architectures via numerical simulations.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number9399244
Pages (from-to)5831-5845
Number of pages15
JournalIEEE Transactions on Wireless Communications
Issue number9
StatePublished - Sep 2021
Externally publishedYes

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Computer Science Applications
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering
  • Applied Mathematics


  • Physical layer security
  • antenna selection
  • hybrid analog-digital precoding
  • massive MIMO systems


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