(In)secure Acoustic Mobile Authentication

Dianqi Han, Ang Li, Tao Li, Lili Zhang, Yan Zhang, Jiawei Li, Rui Zhang, Yanchao Zhang

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations


Acoustic fingerprinting aims to identify a mobile device based on its internal microphone(s) and speaker(s) which are unique due to manufacturing imperfection. This paper seeks a thorough understanding of the (in)security of exploring acoustic fingerprints for achieving distributed mobile authentication. Our contributions are threefold. First, we present a new acoustic fingerprint-emulation attack and demonstrate that it is a common vulnerability of acoustic mobile authentication systems. Second, we propose a dynamic challenge-response defense to secure acoustic mobile authentication systems against the acoustic fingerprint-emulation attack. Finally, we thoroughly investigate existing acoustic fingerprinting schemes and identify the best option for accurate, secure, and deployable acoustic mobile authentication systems.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)3193-3207
Number of pages15
JournalIEEE Transactions on Mobile Computing
Issue number9
StatePublished - Sep 1 2022


  • Acoustic authentication
  • dynamic challenge-response
  • fingerprint-emulation attack

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Software
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering
  • Computer Networks and Communications


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