Securing physical-layer communications for cognitive radio networks

Yulong Zou, Jia Zhu, Liuqing Yang, Ying Chang Liang, Yu Dong Yao

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

161 Scopus citations


This article investigates the physical-layer security of CR networks, which are vulnerable to various newly arising attacks targeting the weaknesses of CR communications and networking. We first review a range of physical-layer attacks in CR networks, including primary user emulation, sensing falsification, intelligence compromise, jamming, and eavesdropping attacks. Then we focus on the physical-layer security of CR networks against eavesdropping and examine the secrecy performance of cognitive communications in terms of secrecy outage probability. We further consider the use of relays for improving CR security against eavesdropping and propose an opportunistic relaying scheme, where a relay node that makes CR communications most resistant to eavesdropping is chosen to participate in assisting the transmission from a cognitive source to its destination. It is illustrated that the physical- layer secrecy of CR communications relying on opportunistic relaying can be significantly improved by increasing the number of relays, showing the security benefit of exploiting relay nodes. Finally, we present some open challenges in the field of relay-assisted physical-layer security for CR networks.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number7263345
Pages (from-to)48-54
Number of pages7
JournalIEEE Communications Magazine
Issue number9
StatePublished - Sep 2015
Externally publishedYes

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2015 IEEE.


  • Interference
  • Jamming
  • Physical layer
  • Relays
  • Sensors
  • Signal to noise ratio
  • Wireless communication


Dive into the research topics of 'Securing physical-layer communications for cognitive radio networks'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this