Date of Award

Spring 5-25-2019

Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


Cyberspace Engineering

First Advisor

Jean Gourd


Mobile devices can sense several types of signals over the air using different radio frequency technologies (e.g., Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, cellular signals, etc.). Furthermore, mobile devices receive broadcast messages from transmitting entities (e.g., network access points, cellular phone towers, etc.) and can measure the received signal strength from these entities. Broadcast messages carry the information needed in case a mobile device chooses to establish communication. We believe that these signals can be utilized in the context of access control, specifically because they could provide an indication of the location of a user's device. Such a “location proof” could then be used to provide access to location-based services. In this research, we propose a location-based access control (LBAC) system that utilizes tokens broadcasted by IEEE 802.11 (Wi-Fi) access points as a location proof for clients requesting access to a resource. This work differs from existing research in that it allows the verification of a client’s location continuously and unobtrusively, utilizing existing IEEE 802.11 infrastructure (which makes it easily deployable), and resulting in a secure and convenient LBAC system. This work illustrates an important application of location-based services (LBS): security. LBAC systems manage access to resources by utilizing the location of clients. The proposed LBAC system attempts to take advantage of the current IEEE 802.11 infrastructure, making it directly applicable to an existing ubiquitous system infrastructure.