Defense Against Primary User Emulation Attacks In Cognitive Radio Networks


Executive Summary


Cognitive radio (CR) networks take advantage of unused bandwidth through which secondary unlicensed users may share the spectrum with the licensed primary users to better utilize the spectrum at any given time. Primary user emulation attacks (PUEAs) are malicious attacks in which a malicious user mimics the signal of a primary user over the unused bandwidth making the unoccupied space inaccessible to legitimate secondary users. This causes low spectrum utilization and inefficient CR network operation.


Description of Technology


Michigan State University has developed technology that uses the Advanced Encryption Standard (AES) at the physical layer to detect and prevent Primary User Emulation Attacks. An AES-encrypted reference signal is generated at the TV transmitter and is used as sync bytes of each DTV data frame. The receiver can then recreate the reference signal using a shared secret between the transmitter and the receiver. The received signal can then be analyzed to detect both the primary user and any malicious user of the spectrum.


Key Benefits

  • Malicious user detection
  • Primary user detection
  • Increased spectrum utilization



  • DTV spectrum leasing
  • GPS spectrum sharing


Patent Status:


Patent issued, no. 9,608,803


Licensing Rights Available


Non-exclusive licensing rights available


Inventors: Tongtong Li, Jian Ren, Mai Abdelhakim, Ahmed Alahmadi


Tech ID: TEC2014-0016


Patent Information:


For Information, Contact:

Raymond Devito
Technology Manager
Michigan State University