Modifying a 60 GHz WiFi Firmware for Fun and Profit

Bachelor Thesis, Master Thesis



Recently, first consumer hardware that supports wireless communication in the 60 GHz band according to IEEE 802.11ad became available. We are investigating state-of-the-art routers and obtained access to a WiFi chip at firmware level. Unfortunately, implemented algorithms are not well documented and need further analysis. Especially those protocols for beam steering and rate adaption--the backbone of wireless communication at ultra high frequencies--are encapsulated in a "black box". In long term, we aim to adjust parts of this algorithms, establish a practical testbed and enhance performance and security of 60 GHz wireless communication. A bachelor or master thesis is this area might investigate specific aspects. Tasks can be for example:

- develop an low layer API to control radio and antenna parameters

- integrate efficient sector sweep algorithms for fast link establishment

- investigate low layer attacks on current systems 

- assess the threat of directional jamming

Students should not be afraid of analyzing binary data and disassembly. Experience with IDA Pro is recommended.

Start: 17.01.2017


Research Areas: Sichere Mobile Netze



Prof. Dr.-Ing. Matthias Hollick

Technische Universität Darmstadt
Department of Computer Science
Secure Mobile Networking Lab 

Mornewegstr. 32 (S4/14)
64293 Darmstadt, Germany

Phone: +49 6151 16-25472
Fax: +49 6151 16-25471


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