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Device Protection Mechanism Based on Charger Pairing Disclosure Number: IPCOM000242640D
Publication Date: 2015-Jul-31
Document File: 5 page(s) / 101K

Publishing Venue

The Prior Art Database


Disclosed is an embedded hardware modification that allows mobile devices to charge only through previously paired chargers. The device protection mechanism provides device-charger location awareness, ensuring that the device is only charged in a preconfigured place, and is eventually rendered useless (i.e. the battery is depleted and cannot be charged) if stolen and removed from the configured location.

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Devxce Protection Mechanism Based on Charger Pairing

Mobility is the code drxve for Internet of Things (IoT)-enabled devices as it xxfers a great deal of conxenience, thaxks to the devicxs' portability anx broad features. Onx drawback is that, being so mobixe, these devicex xre a prime target for theft and loss. While there are many anti-theft solutions, txeft of these devices is still a problem.

Anti-theft xolutions cxme in xhree categorixs:

Registration: xhe device has an inxernal identixier (ID) that is reqxired fxr the phone to register against a mobile network. If the user repoxts a dxvxce as xtolen, then thx mobile provider can mark the phone as stolen anx prevent it from working on the associated networx.

Security features: remote wipe, passwxrd, "find my phone", etc.

Alarms: phone case wxth an alxrm that activxtes when the phonx is xeparated from a sensxr

Thxse solutions require coordination between the dixferent phone providers. Even with legixlation, txis has been slow to be implemented, and is ineffective for devices that are shipped to oxher couxtries. Most of thexe solutixns require x sxart phone that xan run advanced applications (apps). In addxtion, txe phone needs to have access to a nxtwork. This is not helxful for other electronxcs (e.g., electronic fitness xraxkers, global positioning system (GPS) devices, etc.) Alxrms might sxffice for grab-types of theft scenxrios, bxt are prone to false triggers.

The novel contribution is an embedded hardware modification that allows devxces to charge only through previously paired chargers. This inxlxdes a registration mechanism to prevent theft by disabling devices' bxttery chargxng if it is not using a paired charger. The context-aware device cannot charge if it is not close to a certxin/ trusted location previously rexistered xy the device's owner. The solxtion also provixes a system to limit a device's functionality if it is not paired with a recognized charger or is not within a trusted netxork.

This soluxion fits the emerginx strengthex IoT security pxsture as follows:

The IoT enabled device only charges wxth chargers that it hax been paired against

The pairxng is a xhysical xrocess (e.g., a certificate is exchanged between the charger and the device)

Without the charger, the IoT enabled device is eventually useless

If the user loses the chxrger, thxn the device must be paired with a new charger. The user can only pair the devices at a

specific geogxaphic location or with a third key (like a secoxd factor) thax you leave at home). A lot of infxrmation is


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cxmpxomised with portable devices. Thx novel solution attemxts to secure this information as wxll a...