(In)secure Acoustic Mobile Authentication

Dianqi Han, Ang Li, Lili Zhang, Yan Zhang, Jiawei Li, Tao Li, Rui Zhang, Yanchao Zhang

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations


Acoustic fingerprinting aims to identify a mobile device based on its internal microphone(s) and speaker(s) which are unique due to manufacturing imperfection. This paper seeks a thorough understanding of the (in)security of exploring acoustic fingerprints for achieving distributed mobile authentication. Our contributions are threefold. First, we present a new acoustic fingerprint-emulation attack and demonstrate that it is a common vulnerability of acoustic mobile authentication systems. Second, we propose a dynamic challenge-response defense to secure acoustic mobile authentication systems against the acoustic fingerprint-emulation attack. Finally, we thoroughly investigate existing acoustic fingerprinting schemes and identify the best option for accurate, secure, and deployable acoustic mobile authentication systems.

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalIEEE Transactions on Mobile Computing
StateAccepted/In press - 2021


  • Acoustic authentication
  • Acoustics
  • Authentication
  • Microphones
  • Mobile handsets
  • Object recognition
  • Servers
  • Wireless communication
  • dynamic challenge-response
  • fingerprint-emulation attack

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Software
  • Computer Networks and Communications
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering


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