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PROPHYLAXE ‑ Providing Physical Layer Security for the Internet of Things


BMBF-Program “IT-Sicherheitsforschung“ FKZ ITSI4-027, Budget: 3,37 Million Euro

conducted at the Fraunhofer Heinrich Hertz Institute

Latest Highlights:

  • Joint PHYLAWS & PROPHYLAXE contribution was presented at the ETSI Workshop on Future Radio Technologies focusing on Air Interfaces. It took place on 27-28 January 2016 in ETSI, Sophia-Antipolis, France.
  • *5GNOW and PROPHYLAXE have presented results/demonstrators at the GLOBECOM 2014, Austin (TX)!! See here: 

    5GNOW GLOBECOM'14 Workshop on New Air Interfaces featuring the first ever GLOBECOM DEMO NIGHT, see also www.5gnow.eu

    PROPHYLAXE: GLOBECOM'14 Workshop on Internet of Things and Services, see also www.ict-prophylaxe.de

Project Summary:

PROPHYLAXE exploits physical layer security mechanisms by means of inherent wireless system properties based on the fading nature of wireless channels. Although traditionally seen as a burden the fading nature provides two mechanisms that can be exploited: 1) the channel variations are reliably observable only by the legitimate receiver and 2) the transmitter can adapt to the channel conditions and control resources in a beneficial way. PROPHYLAXE aims to exploit these features and establishes security architecture for the IoT including design of physical layer protocols for advanced security in a heterogeneous or even hostile environment. Information-theoretic performance limits will outline the level of security dependent on the complexity of protocols and signal processing.

Research Goals:

PROPHYLAXE will establish a security concept for the IoT with a number of appealing technical and economic features:

  • Cost reduction by abstaining from asymmetric primitives entailing high implementation effort, code size and complex chip layout 
  • Energy efficiency since the communication module is responsible for the key generation 
  • Universal applicability for different use case with transport-agnostic key generation concept 
  • Simple handling since key generation is automated and user interaction is not required (“Plug-and-Secure”) Scalability of the concept due to potentially large system dimensioning 
  • Scalable security due the inherent wireless channel features 
  • Increased security since control information can be protected (in combination with standard protocols) 
  • Support of all relevant security aspects (confidentiality, data integrity, authentication) against passive and 

The results of PROPHYLAXE will be exemplarily demonstrated and a Proof-of-Concept established focusing on telemedicine, facility management, smart home networks.


  • Fraunhofer Heinrich-Hertz-Institut, Berlin (Priv.-Doz. Dr. Gerhard Wunder, Coordinator)
  • Robert Bosch GmbH, Schwieberdingen, (Dr. Andreas Müller)
  • ESCRYPT GmbH – Embedded Security, Bochum (André Osterhues)
  • Ruhr Universität Bochum – DKS (Prof. Aydin Sezgin)
  • Ruhr Universität Bochum – EMSEC (Prof. Christoph Paar)
  • Technische Universität Dresden (Prof. Eduard Jorswieck) 
  • Technische Universität Kaiserslautern (Prof. Hans Schotten)