Autonomous Robots

, Volume 41, Issue 6, pp 1383–1400 | Cite as

Guaranteeing spoof-resilient multi-robot networks

  • Stephanie GilEmail author
  • Swarun Kumar
  • Mark Mazumder
  • Dina Katabi
  • Daniela Rus
Part of the following topical collections:
  1. Special Issue on "Robotics: Science and Systems"


Multi-robot networks use wireless communication to provide wide-ranging services such as aerial surveillance and unmanned delivery. However, effective coordination between multiple robots requires trust, making them particularly vulnerable to cyber-attacks. Specifically, such networks can be gravely disrupted by the Sybil attack, where even a single malicious robot can spoof a large number of fake clients. This paper proposes a new solution to defend against the Sybil attack, without requiring expensive cryptographic key-distribution. Our core contribution is a novel algorithm implemented on commercial Wi-Fi radios that can “sense” spoofers using the physics of wireless signals. We derive theoretical guarantees on how this algorithm bounds the impact of the Sybil Attack on a broad class of multi-robot problems, including locational coverage and unmanned delivery. We experimentally validate our claims using a team of AscTec quadrotor servers and iRobot Create ground clients, and demonstrate spoofer detection rates over 96%.


Multi-robot systems Cybersecurity Sybil attack Wireless networks Coordinated control Anechoic chamber Performance bounds 



This work was partially supported by the NSF and MAST project (ARL Grant W911NF-08-2-0004). We thank members of the MIT Center for Wireless Networks and Mobile Computing:, Cisco, Google, Intel, MediaTek, Microsoft, and Telefonica for their interest and general support.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  • Stephanie Gil
    • 1
    Email author
  • Swarun Kumar
    • 2
  • Mark Mazumder
    • 3
  • Dina Katabi
    • 1
  • Daniela Rus
    • 1
  1. 1.Massachusetts Institute of TechnologyCambridgeUSA
  2. 2.Carnegie Mellon UniversityPittsburghUSA
  3. 3.MIT Lincoln LaboratoryLexingtonUSA

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