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Preprints, Working Papers, ... Year : 2021

SimBle: Generating privacy preserving real-world BLE traces with ground truth


Bluetooth has become critical as many IoT devices are arriving in the market. Most of the current literature focusing on Bluetooth simulation concentrates on the network protocols' performances and completely neglects the privacy protection recommendations introduced in the BLE standard. Indeed, privacy protection is one of the main issues handled in the Bluetooth standard. For instance, the current standard forces devices to change the identifier they embed within the public and private packets, known as MAC address randomization. Although randomizing MAC addresses is intended to preserve device privacy, recent literature shows many challenges that are still present. One of them is the correlation between the public packets and the emitters. Unfortunately, existing evaluation tools such as NS-3 are not designed to reproduce this Bluetooth standard's essential functionality. This makes it impossible to test solutions for different device-fingerprinting strategies as there is a lack of ground truth for large-scale scenarios with the majority of current BLE devices implementing MAC address randomization. In this paper, we first introduce a solution of standard-compliant MAC address randomization in the NS-3 framework, capable of emulating any real BLE device in the simulation and generating real-world Bluetooth traces. In addition, since the simulation run-time for trace-collection grows exponentially with the number of devices, we introduce an optimization to linearize public-packet sniffing. This made the large-scale trace-collection practically feasible. Then, we use the generated traces and associated ground truth to do a case study on the evaluation of a generic MAC address association available in the literature. Our case study reveals that close to 90 percent of randomized addresses could be correctly linked even in highly dense and mobile scenarios.

Dates and versions

hal-03125920 , version 1 (29-01-2021)



Abhishek Kumar Mishra, Aline Carneiro Viana, Nadjib Achir. SimBle: Generating privacy preserving real-world BLE traces with ground truth. 2021. ⟨hal-03125920⟩
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