Security for mobile ad-hoc networks

Panaousis, Emmanouil A. (2012) Security for mobile ad-hoc networks. (PhD thesis), Kingston University,


Ad-hoc networks are crucial enablers of next generation communications. Such networks can be formed and reconfigured dynamically and they can be mobile, standalone or inter-networked with other networks. Mobile Ad-hoc NETworks (MANETs) are established by group of autonomous nodes that communicate with each other by establishing a multihop radio network and maintain connectivity in an infrastructureless manner. Security of the connections between devices and networks is crucial. Current MANET routing protocols inherently trust all participants being cooperative by nature and they depend on neighbouring nodes to route packets to a destination. Such a model allows malicious nods to potentially harm MANET communications links or reveal confidential data by launching different kind of attacks. The main objective of this thesis is to investigate and propose security mechanisms for MANET communications mainly emphasising on emergency scenarios where first responders' devices communicate by establishing a decentralised wireless network. To this end, we have proposed security mechanisms for innovtive routing and peer-to-peer overlay mechanisms for emergency MANETs proposed supplementarily to the findings of this thesis. Such security mechanisms guarntee confidentiality and integrity of the emergency MANET communications. We have also proposed novel ways of improving availability in MANETs in presence of intrusion detection systems by increasing the nodes' lifetime based on a novel game theoretic routing protocol for MANETs. We have thoroughly evaluated the performance of all the proposed mechanisms using a network simulator. The main objective of undertaking these evaluations was to guarantee that security introduces affordable overhead thereby respecting the Quality-of-Service of MANET communication links.

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