Physical layer security in wireless networks: A tutorial

Yi Sheng Shiu, Shih Yu Chang, Hsiao Chun Wu, Scott C.H. Huang, Hsiao Hwa Chen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

530 Citations (Scopus)


Wireless networking plays an extremely important role in civil and military applications. However, security of information transfer via wireless networks remains a challenging issue. It is critical to ensure that confidential data are accessible only to the intended users rather than intruders. Jamming and eavesdropping are two primary attacks at the physical layer of a wireless network. This article offers a tutorial on several prevalent methods to enhance security at the physical layer in wireless networks. We classify these methods based on their characteristic features into five categories, each of which is discussed in terms of two metrics. First, we compare their secret channel capacities, and then we show their computational complexities in exhaustive key search. Finally, we illustrate their security requirements via some examples with respect to these two metrics.

Original languageEnglish
Article number5751298
Pages (from-to)66-74
Number of pages9
JournalIEEE Wireless Communications
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2011 Apr

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Computer Science Applications
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering


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