Packet Drop Attack: A Serious Threat to Operational Mobile Ad Hoc Networks

V. Balakrishnan and V. Varadharajan (Australia)


Security, Routing, Mobile Ad hoc Networks, Packet Drop Attack


In recent years the widespread availability of wireless communications, mobile computing and handheld devices has led to the growth and significance of wireless mobile ad hoc networks. Security issues are paramount in such networks even more so than in wired networks. Though there have been many works in the recent years on secure routing protocols, the "Packet Drop Attack" amongst the nodes is not adequately addressed. In this paper, we analyze a class of secure routing protocols such as SAODV, ARAN and Security Aware Ad Hoc Routing to show how they are vulnerable to packet drop attacks. We also investigate another class of secure routing protocols such as CONFIDANT that cater to defend packet drop attacks but fail due to not having well-defined trust model. The detail study of packet drop events in these protocols leads us to propose a defense-in-depth strategy to secure mobile ad hoc networks through the integration of three layers -- prevention layer (based on cryptographic techniques), detection-reaction layer (based on monitoring technique) and enforcement layer (based on obligations).

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