Physical Layer Components Security Risks in Optical Fiber Infrastructures

Sensors (Basel). 2022 Jan 13;22(2):588. doi: 10.3390/s22020588.


Optical fiber communications are essential for all types of long- and short-distance transmissions. The aim of this paper is to analyze the previously presented security risks and, based on measurements, provide the risk level evaluation. The major risk is the possibility of inserting a splitter into the optical distribution network and capturing a portion of the entire spectrum, i.e., all channels in the optical fiber. Another significant security risk is crosstalk on multiplexers in networks with wavelength division multiplexing. The paper covers the macrobend attenuation evaluation of fiber and back-reflection measurements. Based on the measurements, risks were evaluated for both point-to-point and point-to-multipoint networks and, lastly, the paper covers crosstalk measurements of an optomechanical switch. Finally, all individual risks are evaluated according to the severity, and a proposal for risk minimization is provided.

Keywords: crosstalk; data; eavesdropping; leakage; multiplexer; optical network; splitter.