A novel approach for identification of sensor devices through acoustic PUF

Girish Vaidya, T.V. Prabhakar, Nithish Gnani, Ryan Shah, Shishir Nagaraja

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The supply chain traceability of components from a production facility to deployment and maintenance depends upon its irrefutable identity. There are two well-known methods for identification which includes an identity code stored in the memory and embedding a custom identification hardware. While storing the identity code is susceptible to malicious and unintentional attacks, the approach of embedding a custom identification hardware is infeasible for sensor nodes assembled with Commercially-Off-the-Shelf (COTS) devices. We propose a novel identifier - Acoustic PUF based on the innate properties of the sensor node. Acoustic PUF combines the uniqueness component and the position component of the sensor device signature. The uniqueness component is derived by exploiting the manufacturing tolerances, thus making the signature unclonable. The position component is derived through acoustic fingerprinting, thus giving a sticky identity to the sensor device. We evaluate Acoustic PUF for Uniqueness, Repeatability and Position identity with a deployment spanning several weeks. Through our experimental evaluation and further numerical analysis, we prove that Acoustic PUF can uniquely identify thousands of devices with 99% accuracy while simultaneously detecting the change in position.
Original languageEnglish
Number of pages27
JournalDigital Threats: Research and Practice
Early online date24 Sep 2021
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 24 Sep 2021


  • acoustic PUF
  • supply chain traceability
  • sensor devices


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