Security in Wireless Mesh Networks (Wireless Networks and Mobile Communications)

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Control plane attacks target the routing functionality of the network, whereas data plane attacks target the path forwarding functionality of the network. Routing Table Overflow: In this attack, the attacker attempts to create routes to nonexistent nodes with intention to create enough routes in order to prevent new routes from being created or to overwhelm the protocol implementation Sybil Attack: In a Sybil attack, a malicious node pretends the identity of several nodes, each appearing as a legitimate node, with intention to disrupt the network's normal operation 10 , This attack degrades the routing performance and also disrupts the routing services.

Byzantine Attack: This type of attack may be launched by a single compromised node or by group of working together compromised intermediates. Their goal is to create routing loops and forwarding packets in a long route instead of the optimal one, even if packets may drop.

Security in Wireless Mesh Networks (Wireless Networks and Mobile Communications)

Wormhole Attack: A wormhole attack attempts to convince nodes to use a malicious path through legitimate means 8. During this attack, two or more malicious nodes collude together by establishing a tunnel, that is, a wormhole, using an efficient communication medium Once the victim node includes the malicious nodes in the routing path, the malicious nodes start dropping packets. Then the malicious node drops the packets forwarded by neighboring nodes. Greyhole Attack: This type of attack is a variant of the sinkhole attack 8. More specifically, the malicious nodes in contrast to sinkhole attack do not drop all the packets, but they just drop selective packets Sleep Deprivation Attack: During this attack, a malicious node attempts to exhaust the batteries of a victim node by requesting routes or by sending unnecessary packets to it.

Location Disclosure: A location disclosure attack reveals information about the location of nodes or about the structure of the network Route Error Injection Attack: During this attack, a malicious node injects forged route error messages to break mesh links and disrupt the routing services. Data control attacks are launched by misbehaving nodes in the network. Bansal et al. A selfish node is only concerned about improving its performance even at the expenses of other nodes, whereas a greedy node intends to disrupt normal network's operation The simplest data control attack is eavesdropping 30 : Because routing data can reveal information the network topology in general, an attacker by eavesdropping tries to discover this information by listening to network traffic.

Possible attacks in this layer are flooding and desynchronization, that is, the disruption of an existing connection. In the flooding attack, a malicious node may repeatedly make new connection requests until the resources required by each connection are exhausted or reach a maximum limit.

Wireless Mesh Network Communication Solutions | ABB Wireless

In the desychronization attack, a malicious node may repeatedly spoof messages to an end host causing the host to request the retransmission of missed frames. If timed correctly, an attacker may degrade or even prevent the ability of the end hosts to successfully exchange data causing them instead to waste energy attempting to recover from errors, which never really exist Application Layer attacks in wireless networks concern viruses, worms, malicious codes, application abuses, and so on Also, when unencrypted data are transmitted, they are vulnerable to packet sniffing, as well as, to attacks against applications.

In order to alleviate the security problems in WMNs, several defense methods have been put forward, which fall into these three categories: intrusion prevention, intrusion detection, and intrusion response The current section discusses several countermeasures for WMNs. Intrusion prevention mechanisms are considered as the principle line of defense against malicious nodes and include encryption and authentication 35 , as well as secure routing.

In particular, several WMNs key management schemes that entail encryption and authentication may be found in the literature. A key management service is responsible for keeping track of bindings between keys and nodes and for assisting the establishment of mutual trust and secure communication between nodes 4. Existing key management solutions for wireless and wired networks may be classified into the following three typical categories: centralized, decentralized, and distributed key updating protocols 37 : Centralized methods rely on a trusted third party called group server that is responsible for the generation and distribution of group keys.

In the decentralized methods, the group management duty is distributed to multiple subgroup leaders in order to reduce the load at a single point. In the distributed key management solutions, the keys are generated collaboratively by one or multiple group members. For this reason, lately, several key management schemes for WMNs may be found in the literature.

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To achieve this goal, the authors assume that there is a number of trust domains, each managed by a broker or WMN operator that issue universal passes to the members of the WMNs. The authors also address the problem of user location privacy by providing the user with different alias identities Yi et al. Offline authentication is assumed, meaning that each node of the network must be registered in a specific offline trusted institution to produce identity.

The master key is generated distributed, and each cluster head node has only a shadow of the master key. Wang et al. The key refreshing for both the top layer and bottom layer happens at the local environment. Fu et al. By applying these techniques, the proposed scheme succeeds in improving key management in security, expandability, validity, fault tolerance, and usability. Kandah et al.

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This is achieved by assigning different as possible S encryption keys among all nodes in a common neighborhood. Simulation results showed that the proposed scheme performs well in terms of smaller malicious eavesdropping ability ratio and less running time. The key idea of the proposed authentication scheme is that each station should authenticate itself to an Authentication Server AS , which delegates the station key generation to Mesh Key Distributors. Security analysis showed that the proposed method is suitable to IEEE Because of open medium, the routing protocols are constantly victims of attacks trying to compromise their capabilities.

Therefore, the routing protocol used inside a mesh should be secured against attacks.

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To obtain this goal, researchers proposed either mechanisms to enhance existing routing protocols used for ad hoc networks or new security protocols that are suitable for WMNs. The main idea is to modify the hop count values in order to let them also reflect information about the nodes' reputations along a path. To achieve this goal, two reputation levels are considered the global reputation: a global reputation supplied by other nodes through the dissemination protocol 2 2 The reputation is encapsulated in a Route REQuest message of the AODV protocol.

These two levels are merged to define the reputation that can be exploited to evaluate the real behavior of a node. Simulation results show that the use of the reputation metric in AODV can increase both the security level and the performance of the overall network, even in the presence of routing attacks.

Khan et al.

1. Introduction

More specifically, the authors modify the AODV's route discovery mechanism, leaving all the routing decisions to access points. Security analysis showed that SRPM is robust against a variety of security attacks, such as blackhole, greyhole, wormhole, fairness reduction, jellyfish, and node isolation. Qazi et al. The protocol also includes encryption and authentication mechanisms to ensure authenticity and integrity of the data.

For the authentication, an Authentication Server is assumed, whereas key management services are assumed to be provided by a trusted Certificate Authority. In the Onion Ring approach, whenever a mesh node wants to be connected to the Internet, it has to send a request to the Mesh Gateway.

Wireless Mesh Network Introduction

Islam et al. To achieve this, they use the Merkle tree concept to authenticate mutable information and symmetric key encryption to protect the mutable field. However, the proposed protocol is vulnerable to the attacks launched by the internal legitimate mesh routers The authors propose two modifications: trust management for internal nodes and digital signature of routing messages with IBC for external nodes. The use of the IBC eliminates the need to verify the authenticity of public keys and ensures the integrity of the control message in HWMP.

Bansal and Sofat 46 propose a modified HWMP routing protocol for WMN, which uses cryptographic extensions to protect unprotected routing information elements. More specifically, the authors consider two different kinds of routing fields: mutable and non mutable.

They use the existing key distribution specified in the draft 3. Security analysis shows that the proposed security routing protocol protects the networks against of flooding, rooting disruption, routing loops, and routing diversion attacks. However, simulation results show that the proposed protocol incurs little overhead in terms of control overhead in bytes and path acquisition delay. Li et al. Lin et al. By applying this, internal attacks are reduced. Because only the usage of protection and encryption software to protect WMNs are not sufficient and effective, intrusion detection systems are also deployed to provide a second line of defense Analysis engine: The IDS must be equipped with an analysis engine that processes the collected data to detect unusual or malicious behavior.

Response: the IDS must generate a response, which is typically an alert to system administrators. Several IDSs may be found in the literature.

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  4. Anomaly detection tries to characterize normal behavior, and everything is assumed to be anomalous, whereas misuse detection tries to characterize attacks, and everything else is assumed to be normal The first detection action is a very challenging issue in WMN because of the used unreliable physical medium 39 , fluctuating operational environments, unavoidable signal interference, and unpredictable traffic congestion Distributed and Cooperative IDS: An IDS agent that runs on each node is responsible for the detection and collection of local events and data to identify possible intrusions, as well as for the initiation of a response independently.

    Hierarchical IDS: Cluster heads act as control points to provide the functionality for its child nodes. Also, the fact that the Internet uplinks in a WMN can be decentralized makes the selection of a single location to deploy IDS functionality impossible The proposed IDS implemented on mesh point can detect two MAC misbehaviors: the oversized NAV attack and the reduced backoff attack, as well as the switching between these two attacks.

    The fact that the detection method is implemented on each Mesh Point and there is no need to rely on receiving nodes makes the proposed IDS cost effective and also helps in avoiding the problem of colluding partner. Zhou et al. Then each node enrolled in the WMN reports its communication state. Thus, the security of the network is increased, since each time the more secure node will be selected to a path.

    Hugelshofer et al. Furthermore, for new connections, this approach is not as efficient as expected, since generating and receiving connection tracking events is costly Zang et al. The scheme is specified and implemented with dynamic source routing protocol, aiming on the detection of misbehaving nodes that target on network disruption. Simulation results show that RADAR detects routing loops with higher false alarms; it is resilient to malicious collectives for subverting reputations but involves a relatively high latency for detection of DoS attacks Martignon et al.

    The proposed framework consists of three components: a watchdog mechanism to distinguish between selfish and cooperative actions, a protocol to exchange trust ratings among the network nodes, and a trust model for quantifying the nodes trustworthiness. Numerical results show that the proposed scheme offers high detection accuracy, even when a high percentage of network nodes provide false trust values. Yang et al. The authors consider two new types of nodes in comparison with traditional wired or wireless IDS: proxy servers, and central consoles. Each IDS proxy runs independently and detects the activities of inner nodes.

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    5. If the local proxy cannot decide from all the evidence collected, it will report the results to the gateway node in domain. More specifically, the authors propose a simple modification at the MAC layer in order to detect inauthentic acknowledgments in encrypted data frames and to suppress the initial acknowledge when required. Experimental results showed that the proposed mechanism presents a high detection rate, no false positives, and a small computational and communication overhead.

      In this system, each mesh node has an IDS agent, which monitors independently its neighbor nodes and, in case of misbehavior detection, broadcasts the information to its neighbors, as well as sends report to the serving mesh router for action.