Zero-Power Defense Done Right: Shielding IMDs from Battery-Depletion Attacks

Muhammad Ali Siddiqi*, Wouter A. Serdijn, Christos Strydis

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

4 Citations (Scopus)
60 Downloads (Pure)


The wireless capabilities of modern Implantable Medical Devices (IMDs) make them vulnerable to security attacks. One prominent attack, which has disastrous consequences for the patient’s wellbeing, is the battery Denial-of-Service attack whereby the IMD is occupied with continuous authentication requests from an adversary with the aim of depleting its battery. Zero-Power Defense (ZPD), based on energy harvesting, is known to be an excellent protection against these attacks. This paper raises essential design considerations for employing ZPD techniques in commercial IMDs, offers a critical review of ZPD techniques found in literature and, subsequently, gives crucial recommendations for developing comprehensive ZPD solutions.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)421–437
Number of pages17
JournalJournal of Signal Processing Systems
Volume93 (2021)
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 2020


  • Authentication protocol
  • Battery DoS
  • Battery-depletion attack
  • Denial-of-service attack
  • Energy harvesting
  • IMD
  • Implantable medical device
  • Wireless power transfer
  • Zero-power defense


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