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Secure Ad Hoc Routing Protocols

Researcher: Adrian Perrig

Research Area: Mobility


Secure Ad Hoc Routing Protocols

An ad hoc network is a group of wireless mobile computers (or nodes), in which individual nodes cooperate by forwarding packets for each other to allow nodes to communicate beyond direct wireless transmission range. Ad hoc networks are on the brink of widespread deployment. Research in ad hoc routing protocols has made great progress; however, the majority of this research assumed a trusted environment. Many real-world applications lack a trustworthy environment, and they require secure ad hoc routing protocols to prevent an adversary from performing denial-of-service (DoS) attacks on the routing infrastructure.

Together with Dave Johnson and Yih-Chun Hu, we designed several secure ad hoc network routing protocols. Prior research in ad hoc networking has generally studied the routing problem in a non-adversarial setting, assuming a trusted environment. In our research, we present attacks against routing in ad hoc networks, and we present the design and performance evaluation of a new secure on-demand ad hoc network routing protocol, called Ariadne. Ariadne prevents attackers or compromised nodes from tampering with uncompromised routes consisting of uncompromised nodes, and also prevents a large number of types of DoS attacks. In addition, Ariadne is efficient, using only highly efficient symmetric cryptographic primitives.