Physical Wireless Security


Origin: Lukasz Szczygielski, Michal Tarkowski, Przemyslaw Popowicz / all GUT

Written: April 2019

Purpose: Verification of physical wireless secure communication between different nodes. The secure communication is interpreted as a jamming resistant. The pattern can be used to define test strategy in different domain.

– The basic information about wireless communication channel must be known.
– General information about the scene (physical location of system deployemnt place) must be known.

To consider: The pattern is focused on physical aspects of wireless communication in the ACPS. The pattern does not specify specific countermeasures, KPI’s or techniques.


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Participants and Important Artefacts

Test engineer: person responsible for planning the test, interpreting the results and outcomes as well as defining basic test parameters (communication channel model, threat type etc.).

SUT Definition: concise definition of system that for which security of its wireless comm. shall be shown.

Domain Threat(s) definition: Each domain may Focus on different type of threats – jamming, man-in-the-middle etc.. In order to define proper test process, domain threats must be identified.

Detailed Test (Environment) specification: Test specification contains basic information about the wireless communication security tests – Threat type, number of test iteration, environment model, countermeasures, communication channel etc.

Test Report: Test results present test outcomes in predefined structure – e.g. jamming resistance score, evaluation of overall security level.

Actions and collaborations

(1) Define test model: SUT model is defined, precise test objectives are defined, test objects (a part of wireless communication system) are identified.

(2) Define threats: In order to identify key threats type in domain specific environments, different techniques and methods apply.

(3) Define test environment: Definition of test environment covers reflecting real world condition into simulation environment.

(4) Run tests: Predefined tests are executed on test platform. Steps 3 and 4 are iterated until tests are sufficiently unambiguous.

(5) Get test results: Test results are based on predefined sets of metrics, charts and any other suitable form of related data presentation.


– The presented concept is a framework based on PhyWiSe tool, developed by GUT. To some extent, this tool is inherent part of the pattern.

– Each step of the whole process requires some additional work. Amount of this work depends on domain / use case / individual requirements

– Definition of SUT model requires basic knowledge about utilized communication standards, devices

Application Examples

The pattern is utilized to evaluate physical wireless communication security in different domains.

A core component in all application examples is the „PhyWise“ tool: a dedicated software environment that allows for time-sensitive testing of wireless communication security.


Relations to other Patterns

Pattern Name Relation
Scenario-based Safety & Security Analysis Can be used to identify threats (activity 2)
Security Risk Assessment with Attack Trees Can be used to identify threats (activity 2)