Anti-jamming broadcast communication using uncoordinated spread spectrum techniques

Christina Pöpper, Mario Strasser, Srdjan Čapkun

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Jamming-resistant communication is crucial for safety-critical applications such as emergency alert broadcasts or the dissemination of navigation signals in adversarial settings. In such applications, mission-critical messages are broadcast to a large and unknown number of (potentially untrusted) receivers that rely on the availability, integrity, and authenticity of the messages; here, availability primarily refers to the ability to communicate in the presence of jamming. Common techniques to counter jamming-based denial-of-service attacks such as Frequency Hopping (FH) and Direct Sequence Spread Spectrum (DSSS) cannot be applied in such settings because they depend on secret pairwise or group keys shared between the sender and the receivers before the communication. This dependency entails serious or unsolvable scalability and keysetup problems or weak jamming-resistance (a single malicious receiver can compromise the whole system). As a solution, in this work, we propose uncoordinated spread spectrum techniques that enable anti-jamming broadcast communication without shared secrets. Uncoordinated spread spectrum techniques can handle an unlimited amount of (malicious) receivers. We present two instances (Uncoordinated FH and Uncoordinated DSSS) and analyze differences in their performance as well as their combination. We further discuss the applications of these techniques to anti-jamming navigation broadcast, bootstrapping of coordinated spread spectrum communication, and anti-jamming emergency alerts.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number5472426
Pages (from-to)703-715
Number of pages13
JournalIEEE Journal on Selected Areas in Communications
Issue number5
StatePublished - Jun 2010


  • Anti-jamming
  • Broadcast
  • DSSS
  • Frequency Hopping
  • Spread Spectrum Communication
  • Wireless Security

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Computer Networks and Communications
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering


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