Enhancing location privacy in wireless LAN through disposable interface identifiers

Marco Gruteser, Dirk Grunwald
2003 Proceedings of the 1st ACM international workshop on Wireless mobile applications and services on WLAN hotspots - WMASH '03  
The recent proliferation of wireless local area networks (WLAN) has introduced new location privacy risks. An adversary controlling several access points could triangulate a client's position. In addition, interface identifiers uniquely identify each client, allowing tracking of location over time. We enhance location privacy through frequent disposal of a client's interface identifier. The described system curbs the adversary's ability to continuously track a client's position. Design
more » ... on. Design challenges include selecting new interface identifiers, detecting address collisions at the MAC layer, and timing identifier switches to balance network disruptions against privacy protection. Using a modified authentication protocol, network operators can still control access to their network. An analysis of a public WLAN usage trace shows that disposing addresses before reassociation already yields significant privacy improvements.
doi:10.1145/941326.941334 dblp:conf/wmash/GruteserG03 fatcat:273obxyxhneifg4tvqb7iqbsqi