Achieving Covertness and Secrecy: The Interplay between Detection and Eavesdropping Attacks

This article explores a new secure wireless communication scenario for the data collection in the Internet of Things (IoT) where the physical layer security technology is applied to counteract both the detection and eavesdropping attacks, such that the critical covertness and secrecy properties of the communication are jointly guaranteed. We first provide theoretical modeling for covertness outage probability (COP), secrecy outage probability (SOP), and transmission probability (TP) to depict the covertness, secrecy, and transmission performances of the wireless communication system. To understand the fundamental security performance under the wireless communication system, we then define a new metric—covert secrecy rate (CSR), which characterizes the maximum transmission rate subject to the constraints of COP, SOP, and TP. We further conduct a detailed theoretical analysis to identify the CSR under various scenarios determined by the detector-eavesdropper relationships and the secure transmission schemes adopted by transmitters. Finally, numerical results are provided to illustrate the achievable performances under the secure wireless communication system.