As a solution, two electrical and computer engineering faculty members at Northeastern’s Institute for the Wireless Internet of Things, Tommaso Melodia, institute director, and Kaushik Chowdhury, associate director, are zeroing in on radio frequency fingerprinting. This strategy involves identifying a wireless device uniquely through hardware imperfections, which can be gleaned from the radio signals it transmits.
Melodia and Chowdhury have partnered with InterDigital, a Delaware-based mobile technology research and development company, to design algorithms that use AI and machine learning to differentiate between devices with greater accuracy, and at far larger scales. The researchers will test their algorithms on Interdigital’s LoRa (long range) devices, which can transmit signals over large rural areas using relatively little power. Their work is funded by the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency, the National Science Foundation, and the Office of Naval Research.