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Eddystone-EID: Secure and Private Infrastructural Protocol for BLE Beacons

Liron David
Alon Ziv
IEEE Transactions on Information Forensics and Security (2022)


Beacons are small devices which are playing an important role in the Internet of Things (IoT), connecting “things” without IP connection to the Internet via Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE) communication. In this paper we present the first private end-to-end encryption protocol called the Eddystone-Ephemeral-ID (Eddystone-EID) protocol. This protocol enables connectivity from any beacon to its remote owner, while supporting beacon’s privacy and security, and essentially preserving the beacon’s low power consumption. We describe the Eddystone-EID development goals, discuss the design decisions, show the cryptographic solution, and analyse its privacy, security, and performance. Finally, we present three secure IoT applications built on Eddystone-EID, demonstrating its utility as a security and privacy infrastructure in the IoT domain. Further, Eddystone-EID is a prototypical example of security design for an asymmetric system in which on one side there are small power-deficient elements (the beacons) and on the other side there is a powerful computing engine (a cloud). The crux of the design strategy is based on: (1) transferring work from the beacon to the cloud, and then (2) building a trade-off between cloud online work against cloud offline work, in order to enable fast real-time reaction of the cloud. These two principles seem to be generic and can be used for other problems in the IoT domain.