In collaboration with Princeton University

Semantic-Security Capacity for the Physical Layer via Information Theory

Z. Goldfeld, P. Cuff and H. H. Permuter

In Proceedings of the IEEE CS International Conference on Software Science, Technology, and Engineering (SwSTE-2016), Beer-Sheva, Israel, June 2016

Physical layer security can ensure secure communication over noisy channels in the presence of an eavesdropper with unlimited computational power. We adopt an information theoretic variant of semantic-security (SS) (a cryptographic gold standard), as our secrecy metric and study the open problem of the type II wiretap channel (WTC II) with a noisy main channel is, whose secrecy-capacity is unknown even under looser metrics than SS. Herein the secrecy-capacity is derived and shown to be equal to its SS capacity. In this setting, the legitimate users communicate via a discrete-memoryless (DM) channel in the presence of an eavesdropper that has perfect access to a subset of its choosing of the transmitted symbols, constrained to a fixed fraction of the blocklength. The secrecy criterion is achieved simultaneously for all possible eavesdropper subset choices. On top of that, SS requires negligible mutual information between the message and the eavesdropper’s observations even when maximized over all message distributions. A key tool for the achievability proof is a novel and stronger version of Wyner’s soft covering lemma. Specifically, the lemma shows that a random codebook achieves the soft-covering phenomenon with high probability. The probability of failure is doubly-exponentially small in the blocklength. Since the combined number of messages and subsets grows only exponentially with the blocklength, SS for the WTC II is established by using the union bound and invoking the stronger soft-covering lemma. The direct proof shows that rates up to the weak-secrecy capacity of the classic WTC with a DM erasure channel (EC) to the eavesdropper are achievable. The converse follows by establishing the capacity of this DM wiretap EC as an upper bound for the WTC II. From a broader perspective, the stronger soft-covering lemma constitutes a tool for showing the existence of codebooks that satisfy exponentially many constraints, a beneficial ability for many other applications in information theoretic security. Index Terms—Erasure wiretap channel, information theoretic security, physical-layer security, semantic-security, soft-covering lemma, wiretap channel of type II, wiretap codes.