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The need for implementing adequate security services in industrial applications is increasing. Verifying the physical proximity or location of a device has become an important security service in ad-hoc wireless environments. Distance-bounding is a prominent secure neighbor detection method that cryptographically determines an upper bound for the physical distance between two communicating parties based on the round-trip time of cryptographic challenge-response pairs. This paper gives a brief overview of distance-bounding protocols and discusses the possibility of implementing such protocols within industrial RFID and real-time location applications, which requires an emphasis on aspects such as reliability and real-time communication. The practical resource requirements and performance tradeoffs involved are illustrated using a sample of distance-bounding proposals, and some remaining research challenges with regards to practical implementation are discussed.
Date of Publication: Feb. 2013