Bloch, McLaughlin Win IEEE ComSoc & Information Theory Society Joint Paper Award

Atlanta, GA
Steven McLaughlin, Matthieu Bloch, Demijan Klinc

Matthieu Bloch (L) and Steven McLaughlin (R), faculty members in the School of Electrical and Computer Engineering (ECE), are pictured with Demijan Klinc, who graduated with his Ph.D. in ECE on May 6 at the Georgia Tech Ferst Center for the Arts.

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Matthieu Bloch and Steven W. McLaughlin have been named the recipients of the IEEE Communications and Information Theory Society Joint Paper Award for their paper, "Wireless Information-Theoretic Security," which was published in the IEEE Transactions on Information Theory in June 2008. Dr. Bloch is an assistant professor in the School of Electrical and Computer Engineering (ECE) based at Georgia Tech-Lorraine, while Dr. McLaughlin is based at the Atlanta campus and serves as the Ken Byers Professor in ECE and the vice provost for International Initiatives for Georgia Tech.

The ComSoc & Information Theory Society Joint Paper Award is one of two paper awards that recognizes outstanding papers published in any publication of the Communications Society or the Information Theory Society within the previous three calendar years. Drs. McLaughlin and Bloch share this award with their paper coauthors, João Barros and Miguel Rodrigues from the University of Porto (Portugal).

With the widespread deployment of wireless networks, mobile devices have become ubiquitous and are trusted to securely convey sensitive information such as bank records or medical files. However, by nature, wireless signals are broadcasted over the air, which makes eavesdropping particularly easy, even with off-the-shelf devices. In this paper, the authors propose to secure wireless communications by harnessing the imperfections of the wireless physical-layer, such as the gain fluctuations induced by changes in the environment, and they developed and analyzed algorithms to extract unbreakable secret keys between two wireless terminals. This research could be used to add a layer of security to many existing systems, such as WiFi networks, wireless sensor networks, or near-field-communication protocols.

Last revised August 1, 2017