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Wireless Device Identification Based on RF Oscillator Imperfections

The exploitation of slight imperfections of transmitters’ hardware for identification of wireless devices has recently emerged as an effective method for security enhancement in wireless access networks. Previously, we introduced a modelbased approach for device identification based on the imperfections of two main wireless transmitter components: the digitalto- analog converter and the power amplifier.

Here, motivated by applications with transmit power control mechanisms, we analyze the degree to which a device can be identified from the unique, power mode independent characteristics of a third main component: the RF oscillator. The model-based device identification method introduced here allows for effective device identification even from short time records at relatively low signal-to-noise ratios when exploiting imperfections of commercially used RF oscillators.