We describe a layer-1-based intrusion detection system for fiber-optic–based networks. Layer-1-based intrusion detection represents a significant elevation in security as it prohibits an adversary from obtaining information in the first place (no cryptanalysis is possible). We describe the experimental setup of the intrusion detection system, which is based on monitoring the behavior of certain attributes of light both in unperturbed and perturbed optical fiber links. The system was tested with optical fiber links of various lengths and types, under different environmental conditions, and under changes in fiber geometry similar to what is experienced during tapping activity. Comparison of the results for perturbed and unperturbed links has shown that the state of polarization is more sensitive to intrusion activity than the degree of polarization or power of the received light. The testing was conducted in a simulated telecommunication network environment that included both underground and aerial links. The links were monitored for intrusion activity. Attempts to tap the link were easily detected with no apparent degradation in the visual quality of the real-time surveillance video.
Hajj, MacDonald, Verma, and Huck: Implementing and testing a fiber-optic polarization-based intrusion detection system