I know who you will meet this evening! Linking wireless devices using Wi-Fi probe requests

Mathieu Cunche 1, 2 Mohamed Ali Kaafar 2, * Roksana Boreli 1
* Corresponding author
2 PLANETE - Protocols and applications for the Internet
Inria Grenoble - Rhône-Alpes, CRISAM - Inria Sophia Antipolis - Méditerranée
Abstract : Active service discovery in Wi-Fi involves wireless stations broadcasting their Wi-Fi fingerprint, i.e. the SSIDs of their preferred wireless networks. The content of those Wi-Fi fingerprints can reveal different types of information about the owner. We focus on the relation between the fingerprints and the links between the owners. Our hypothesis is that social links between devices owners can be identified by exploiting the information contained in the fingerprint. More specifically we propose to consider the similarity between fingerprints as a metric, with the underlying idea: similar fingerprints are likely to be linked. We first study the performances of several similarity metrics on a controlled dataset and then apply the designed classifier to a dataset collected in the wild. Finally we discuss how Wi-Fi fingerprint can reveal informations on the nature of the links between users. This study is based on a dataset collected in Sydney, Australia, composed of fingerprints corresponding to more than 8000 devices.
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Mathieu Cunche, Mohamed Ali Kaafar, Roksana Boreli. I know who you will meet this evening! Linking wireless devices using Wi-Fi probe requests. WoWMoM - 13th IEEE International Symposium on a World of Wireless, Mobile and Multimedia Networks - 2012, Jun 2012, San Francisco, United States. ⟨hal-00747825⟩

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