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SSIDs in the Wild: Extracting Semantic Information from WiFi SSIDs

Suranga Seneviratne 1 Fangzhou Jiang 1 Mathieu Cunche 2, 3, * Aruna Seneviratne 1 
* Corresponding author
3 PRIVATICS - Privacy Models, Architectures and Tools for the Information Society
Inria Grenoble - Rhône-Alpes, CITI - CITI Centre of Innovation in Telecommunications and Integration of services, Inria Lyon
Abstract : WiFi networks are becoming increasingly ubiquitous. In addition to providing network connectivity, WiFi finds applications in areas such as indoor and outdoor localisation, home automation, and physical analytics. In this paper, we explore the semantics of one key attribute of a WiFi network, SSID name. Using a dataset of approximately 120,000 WiFi access points and their corresponding geo-locations, we use a set of similarity metrics to relate SSID names to known business venues such as cafes, theatres, and shopping centres. Such correlations can be exploited by an adversary who has access to smartphone users preferred networks lists to build an accurate profile of the user and thus can be a potential privacy risk to the users.
Keywords : WiFi SSID Privacy location
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Conference papers
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Submitted on : Wednesday, July 29, 2015 - 4:20:50 PM
Last modification on : Friday, November 18, 2022 - 10:13:48 AM
Long-term archiving on: : Friday, October 30, 2015 - 10:26:33 AM


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  • HAL Id : hal-01181254, version 1



Suranga Seneviratne, Fangzhou Jiang, Mathieu Cunche, Aruna Seneviratne. SSIDs in the Wild: Extracting Semantic Information from WiFi SSIDs. The 40th IEEE Conference on Local Computer Networks (LCN), Oct 2015, Clearwater Beach, Florida, United States. ⟨hal-01181254⟩



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