Packet leashes: A defense against wormhole attacks in wireless networks

Yih Chun Hu, Adrian Perrig, David B. Johnson

Research output: Contribution to journalConference article

Abstract

As mobile ad hoc network applications are deployed, security emerges as a central requirement. In this paper, we introduce the wormhole attack, a severe attack in ad hoc networks that is particularly challenging to defend against. The wormhole attack is possible even if the attacker has not compromised any hosts, and even if all communication provides authenticity and confidentiality. In the wormhole attack, an attacker records packets (or bits) at one location in the network, tunnels them (possibly selectively) to another location, and retransmits them there into the network. The wormhole attack can form a serious threat in wireless networks, especially against many ad hoc network routing protocols and location-based wireless security systems. For example, most existing ad hoc network routing protocols, without some mechanism to defend against the wormhole attack, would be unable to find routes longer than one or two hops, severely disrupting communication. We present a new, general mechanism, called packet leashes, for detecting and thus defending against wormhole attacks, and we present a specific protocol, called TIK, that implements leashes.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1976-1986
Number of pages11
JournalProceedings - IEEE INFOCOM
Volume3
StatePublished - Sep 1 2003
Event22nd Annual Joint Conference on the IEEE Computer and Communications Societies - San Francisco, CA, United States
Duration: Mar 30 2003Apr 3 2003

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Computer Science(all)
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering

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