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Method and Apparatus for Location Based Authentication in a Fixed Wireless Mesh System. Disclosure Number: IPCOM000004842D
Original Publication Date: 2001-Jul-10
Included in the Prior Art Database: 2001-Jul-10
Document File: 4 page(s) / 40K

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Michael H. Baker: AUTHOR [+2]


Method and Apparatus for Location Based Authentication in a Fixed Wireless Mesh System.

This text was extracted from a WORD97 document.
This is the abbreviated version, containing approximately 26% of the total text.

Method and Apparatus for Location Based Authentication in a Fixed Wireless Mesh System.

Michael H. Baker, Don Ryback, Alek Tziortzis

Fraud is a major expense for wireless communications systems operators. Illegal users take on the identity of legal users in order to obtain free service. The illegal user may clone software and/or hardware of a legal user or obtain service using a false name and address. New wireless systems are particularly vulnerable during the first few years of service, because the operator is concentrating on building out the system and not on security holes in the technology. Fixed terrestrial wireless systems that offer high data rates to the customer are a new technology and will be prime candidates for fraud.

The cellular telecommunications industry association (CTIA) estimates that $400 million is lost per year due to fraud. This number is down from a peak of $650 million in 1996. Fraud costs these new technologies valuable resources. Fixed terrestrial mesh topologies may be particularly vulnerable to fraud because so much new technology must be developed. Having equipment that is less prone to cloning would be an advantage for Motorola equipment with fixed terrestrial service providers.

Looking back at previous ways to thwart rogue users, RF fingerprinting and authentication introduced in 1996 temporarily slowed the increase in cellular fraud. However, after the sharp decline in 1997-1998, fraud cost has increased steadily. Cellular systems use location during emergencies, but they do not use location for authentication of user identity. The cable system previous methods for fraud detection applies to one way transmissions where an illegal physical tap by wire has been applied to the cable system.

This invention describes a method of determining the location of a fixed node and using the location as a means of authentication of a user. For fixed terrestrial data systems employing a mesh topology, the location of the subscriber can be used as a means of uniquely identifying the subscriber. Legal nodes in the mesh can be used to identify the location of new nodes using reverse time of arrival. The location of the new node is passed back to a wired gatekeeper node, which then communicates via a wired backbone with an authorization center to determine if the new user is at the authorized location. Only authorized nodes would be allowed to communicate.

The invention authenticates a new user based on the location of that user as measured by his neighbor nodes. Time of arrival (TOA) or time difference of arrival (TDOA) are sent back to the authentication center and used to determine if a new user is at the authorized location. Potential areas where rogue users might reside can be identified by comparing the TOA/TDOA with reference values based on the known location of each customer. The exact location of a rogue can be estimated if the mesh density is s...