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One Billion Apples' Secret Sauce: Recipe for the Apple Wireless Direct Link Ad hoc Protocol

Stute, Milan and Kreitschmann, David and Hollick, Matthias (2018):
One Billion Apples' Secret Sauce: Recipe for the Apple Wireless Direct Link Ad hoc Protocol.
ACM, In: The 24th Annual International Conference on Mobile Computing and Networking (MobiCom '18), New Delhi, India, October 29–November 2, 2018, DOI: 10.1145/3241539.3241566, [Online-Edition: https://dl.acm.org/citation.cfm?doid=3241539.3241566],
[Conference or Workshop Item]

Abstract

Apple Wireless Direct Link (AWDL) is a proprietary and undocumented IEEE 802.11-based ad hoc protocol. Apple first introduced AWDL around 2014 and has since integrated it into its entire product line, including iPhone and Mac. While we have found that AWDL drives popular applications such as AirPlay and AirDrop on more than one billion end-user devices, neither the protocol itself nor potential security and Wi-Fi coexistence issues have been studied. In this paper, we present the operation of the protocol as the result of binary and runtime analysis. In short, each AWDL node announces a sequence of Availability Windows (AWs) indicating its readiness to communicate with other AWDL nodes. An elected master node synchronizes these sequences. Outside the AWs, nodes can tune their Wi-Fi radio to a different channel to communicate with an access point, or could turn it off to save energy. Based on our analysis, we conduct experiments to study the master election process, synchronization accuracy, channel hopping dynamics, and achievable throughput. We conduct a preliminary security assessment and publish an open source Wireshark dissector for AWDL to nourish future work.

Item Type: Conference or Workshop Item
Erschienen: 2018
Creators: Stute, Milan and Kreitschmann, David and Hollick, Matthias
Title: One Billion Apples' Secret Sauce: Recipe for the Apple Wireless Direct Link Ad hoc Protocol
Language: English
Abstract:

Apple Wireless Direct Link (AWDL) is a proprietary and undocumented IEEE 802.11-based ad hoc protocol. Apple first introduced AWDL around 2014 and has since integrated it into its entire product line, including iPhone and Mac. While we have found that AWDL drives popular applications such as AirPlay and AirDrop on more than one billion end-user devices, neither the protocol itself nor potential security and Wi-Fi coexistence issues have been studied. In this paper, we present the operation of the protocol as the result of binary and runtime analysis. In short, each AWDL node announces a sequence of Availability Windows (AWs) indicating its readiness to communicate with other AWDL nodes. An elected master node synchronizes these sequences. Outside the AWs, nodes can tune their Wi-Fi radio to a different channel to communicate with an access point, or could turn it off to save energy. Based on our analysis, we conduct experiments to study the master election process, synchronization accuracy, channel hopping dynamics, and achievable throughput. We conduct a preliminary security assessment and publish an open source Wireshark dissector for AWDL to nourish future work.

Publisher: ACM
Divisions: 20 Department of Computer Science
20 Department of Computer Science > Sichere Mobile Netze
Profile Areas
Profile Areas > Cybersecurity (CYSEC)
LOEWE
LOEWE > LOEWE-Schwerpunkte
LOEWE > LOEWE-Schwerpunkte > NiCER – Networked infrastructureless Cooperation for Emergency Response
LOEWE > LOEWE-Zentren
LOEWE > LOEWE-Zentren > CRISP - Center for Research in Security and Privacy
Event Title: The 24th Annual International Conference on Mobile Computing and Networking (MobiCom '18)
Event Location: New Delhi, India
Event Dates: October 29–November 2, 2018
Date Deposited: 21 Jan 2019 08:28
DOI: 10.1145/3241539.3241566
Official URL: https://dl.acm.org/citation.cfm?doid=3241539.3241566
Additional Information:

Best Community Paper Award

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