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Rainbow Crypt: Securing Communication through a Protected Visual Channel

  • Alberto Bartoli, Giorgio Davanzo, Eric Medvet
  • 11th International Conference on Intelligent Systems Design and Applications (ISDA), 2011, Córdoba (Spain)
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Electronic devices capable of wireless communication are becoming ubiquitous. They enable a wide range of novel applications but these are often difficult to deploy in practice because wireless channels provide ample opportunities to attackers. A number of approaches have been proposed for building secure channels in these scenarios. An approach that would be simple, general and effective consists in establishing a shared secret between two devices by placing them in physical contact for a few seconds. This approach has not been exploited in practice due to the lack of common interfaces. We demonstrate the practical feasibility of the approach for devices equipped with a small LCD screen and cameras. We transfer secret keys between Android-based smartphones put in contact with each other for just a few seconds. The transfer occurs across a visual channel that cannot be intercepted.

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