Physical layer security for massive MIMO: An overview on passive eavesdropping and active attacks

This article discusses opportunities and challenges of physical layer security integration in massive multiple-input multiple-output (MaMIMO) systems. Specifically, we first show that MaMIMO itself is robust against passive eavesdropping attacks. We then review a pilot contamination scheme which actively attacks the channel estimation process. This pilot contamination attack is not only dramatically reducing the achievable secrecy capacity but is also difficult to detect. We proceed by reviewing some methods from literature that detect active attacks on MaMIMO. The last part of the paper surveys the open research problems that we believe are the most important to address in the future and give a few promising directions of research to solve them.