Ultra-wideband: Just a Fad or Here to Stay? - Visualizing and Analyzing Network Traffic

State: Assigned to Andrina Vincenz, Charlotte Eder, Dimitri Degkwitz

The focus of this project is on ultra-wideband (UWB) technology, based on the IEEE 802.15.4z protocol [1].

Since the Apple AirTag was released in April 2021, interest has increased in its functionalities [2], which utilize a combination of UWB sensors for nearby localization and Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE) sensors for slightly longer range localization. Due to its adoption in Apple iPhones, the latest Google Pixel, and the Samsung Galaxy series, there seems to be merit in investigating its security measures.


Therefore, it is essential to understand the intricacies of networks communication and its implementation. The best way to achieve this is to design a small UWB network with two sensor nodes and a few UWB devices, such as the Apple AirTag, allowing us to monitor, analyze, and visualize network traffic.

This project will include the following steps:

  1. Design and set up a small UWB sensor network
  2. Monitor network traffic through sniffing and save the data in a pcap file (e.g. [3])
  3. View the data in Wireshark
  4. Create a packet visualization profile in Wireshark (e.g. [4])
  5. Visualize data in graphs

Project Question(s): How does an IEEE 802.15.4z network interact with other UWB based objects? What is the best way to visualize this data? Are there any discernible security vulnerabilities? 

Optional: The visualization can also be completed by integrating the pcap file into SecGrid [5].

[1] https://ieeexplore.ieee.org/document/9179124

[2] https://www.apple.com/airtag/#:~:text=How%20does%20it%20work%3F,encrypted%20to%20protect%20your%20privacy

[3] https://wiki.wireshark.org/IEEE_802.15.4

[4] https://github.com/akestoridis/wireshark-zigbee-profile

[5] https://github.com/ddosgrid/ddos-visualization

30% Design, 60% Implementation, 10% Documentation
Some experience or interest in working with sniffers, Wireshark, or hardware. Some knowledge of programming in C.

Supervisors: Katharina O. E. Müller

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