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In this paper we address the problem of how two devices that are sensing the same heart signal can generate the same cryptographic token by extracting them from the Inter-Pulse Intervals (IPIs) of each cardiac signal. Our analysis is based on the use of a run-time monitor, which is extracted from a formal model and verified against predefined properties, combined with a fuzzy extractor to improve the final result. We first show that it is impossible, in general, to correct the differences between the IPIs derived from two captured electrocardiogram (ECG) signals when using only error correction techniques, thus being impossible to corroborate previous claims on the feasibility of this approach. Then, we provide a large-scale evaluation of the proposed method (run-time monitor and fuzzy extractor) over 19 public databases from the Physionet repository containing heart signals. The results clearly show the practicality of our proposal achieving a 91% of synchronization probability for healthy individuals. Additionally, we also conduct an experiment to check how long the sensors should record the heart signal in order to generate tokens of 32, 64 and 128 bits. Contrarily to what it is usually assumed (6, 12, and 24 s for individuals with a heart rate of 80 beats-per-minute), the sensors have to wait 13, 28 and 56.5 s on median, respectively, to derive the same token from both sensors. (C) 2019 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.
biometrics; security; privacy; body sensor networks; paroxysmal atrial-fibrillation; beat-based security; ecg; authentication; database; things