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Collaborative spectrum sensing is regarded as a promising approach to significantly improve the performance of spectrum sensing in cognitive radio networks. However, due to the open nature of wireless communications and the increasingly available software defined radio platforms, collaborative spectrum sensing also poses many new research challenges, especially in the aspect of security and privacy. In this article, we first identify the potential security threats toward collaborative spectrum sensing in CRNs. Then we review the existing proposals related to secure collaborative spectrum sensing. Furthermore, we identify several new location privacy related attacks in collaborative sensing, which are expected to compromise secondary users¿ location privacy by correlating their sensing reports and their physical location. To thwart these attacks, we propose a novel privacy preserving framework in collaborative spectrum sensing to prevent location privacy leaking. We design and implement a real-world testbed to evaluate the system performance. The attack experiment results show that if there is no any security guarantee, the attackers could successfully compromise a secondary user¿s location privacy at a success rate of more than 90 percent. We also show that the proposed privacy preserving framework could significantly improve the location privacy of secondary users with a minimal effect on the performance of collaborative sensing.
Date of Publication: December 2012