Image Number 7 for United States Patent #8375201.
A system and method are provided for securing links at the physical (PHY) layer in an IEEE 802.3 Ethernet communication system. A local device (LD) receives an electrical waveform representing link partner security information from a network-connected link partner (LP) via unformatted message pages. The LD accesses predetermined LP reference information stored in a tangible memory medium. The LD compares the received LP security information to the LP reference information. In response to the LD matching the received LP security information to the LP reference information, a secure link to the LP is verified. Likewise, the LD may send electrical waveforms representing security information to the LP via the unformatted message pages. In response to the LP matching the LD security information to the LD reference information, a secure link to the LD is verified.