Essay: Attacks on Ad hoc Networks

Essay: Attacks on Ad hoc Networks
April 11, 2011 Comments Off on Essay: Attacks on Ad hoc Networks Academic Papers on Information Technology,Sample Academic Papers admin

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The literature available on the security in ad hoc networks classifies types of attacks on this network in different ways. For example, Albers and Camp (Albers & Camp, 2002) have classified these attacks into vulnerabilities accentuated by the ad hoc context and vulnerabilities specific to ad hoc context while Pirzada, Datta, and McDonald classify attacks as active and passive.

An ad hoc network is vulnerable because it lacks a clearly defined physical boundary and is only defined on the basis of geographical positions and wireless emission ranges of the nodes. Furthermore, a node can be used to carry out an attack either by eavesdropping on the network or by actively participating in networking by changing or adding the routing information to the packet (Pirzada, Datta & McDonald, 2006). Others classify attacks on the basis of modification, fabrication or impersonation (Pirzada & McDonald, 2006). One of the most common types of attacks carried out on ad hoc networks is denial-of-service. Albers and Camp state that routing and autoconfiguration services of an ad hoc network are vulnerable to this type of attack. They also mention that the auto-configuration mechanism which has been introduced in IPv6 also introduces new types of attacks. Since the autoconfiguration mechanism uses Duplicate Address Detection (DAD), an incoming node willing to join a network may be denied by a malicious node on the network which can pretend to use any of the address selected by the incoming node. Albers and Camp also mention a “Sleep Deprivation Torture” attack in which an attacker drains the battery of a node by constantly asking it to route packets, thus denying a routing service through the path on which the node is situated (Albers & Camp, 2002). Pirzada and McDonald, however, mention several other attacks as well. In their paper they mention that an attacker can send forged routing packets to other nodes in order to make them redirect all their traffic to its own node or some other node, creating a “Black Hole” where all packets are discarded. An extension to this type of attack is a “Grey Hole” in which only some packets are discarded. Furthermore, wormholes can be created through private network links between two malicious nodes. This allows a malicious node to short cut the routing message creating a vertex cut in the network that is controlled by the malicious nodes. Pirzada and McDonald also talk about the rushing attack on ad hoc networks which is carried out on on-demand routing protocols that keep a copy of packets at every node. In this attack, an attacker constantly spreads fabricated routing messages which suppress the legitimate routing messages as the nodes discard them as duplicate copies. Another type of attack is spoofing. In spoofing, a malicious node attempts to misrepresent its identity by changing its IP or MAC address in order to change the perception of a network by an incoming node(Pirzada & McDonald, 2006).

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