Power-positive networking: Wireless-charging-based networking to protect energy against battery DoS attacks

Sang Yoon Chang, Sristi Lakshmi Sravana Kumar, Yih Chun Hu, Younghee Park

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Energy is required for networking and computation and is a valuable resource for unplugged systems such as mobile, sensor, and embedded systems. Energy denial-of-service (DoS) attack where a remote attacker exhausts the victim's battery via networking remains a critical challenge for the device availability. While prior literature proposes mitigation- and detection-based solutions, we propose to eliminate the vulnerability entirely by offloading the power requirements to the entity who makes the networking requests. To do so, we build communication channels using wireless charging signals (as opposed to the traditional radio-frequency signals), so that the communication and the power transfer are simultaneous and inseparable, and use the channels to build power-positive networking (PPN). PPN also offloads the computation-based costs to the requester, enabling authentication and other tasks considered too power-hungry for battery-operated devices. In this article, we study the energy DoS attack impacts on off-the-shelf embedded system platforms (Raspberry Pi and the ESP 8266 system-on-chip (SoC) module), present PPN, implement and build a Qi-chargingtechnology- compatible prototype, and use the prototype for evaluations and analyses. Our prototype, built on the hardware already available for wireless charging, effectively defends against energy DoS and supports simultaneous power and data transfer.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number27
JournalACM Transactions on Sensor Networks
Issue number3
StatePublished - 2019


  • Internet of Things
  • Wireless networking
  • battery exhaustion attack
  • denial-of-service
  • wireless charging

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Computer Networks and Communications


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