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Wireless IDS

Wireless IDS

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Published by Sushmitha Nayak

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Published by: Sushmitha Nayak on Mar 05, 2011
Copyright:Attribution Non-commercial


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The rapid proliferation of wireless networks and mobile computingapplications has changed the landscape of network security. The nature of mobility creates new vulnerabilities that do not exist in a fixed wirednetwork, and yet many of the proven security measures turn out to beineffective. Therefore, the traditional way of protecting networks withfirewalls and encryption software is no longer sufficient. We need todevelop new architecture and mechanisms to protect the wireless networksand mobile computing applications.
1.1. Vulnerabilities of Mobile Wireless Networks 
The nature of mobile computing environment makes it veryvulnerable to an adversary's malicious attacks. First of all, the use of wireless links renders the network susceptible to attacks ranging frompassive eavesdropping to active interfering. Unlike wired networks whereadversary must gain physical access to the network wires or pass throughseveral lines of defense at firewalls and gateways, attacks on a wirelessnetwork can come from all directions and target at any node. Damages caninclude leaking secret information, message contamination, and nodeimpersonation. All these mean that a wireless ad-hoc network will not have aclear line of defense, and every node must be prepared for encounters withan adversary directly or indirectly.Second, mobile nodes are autonomous units that are capable of roaming independently. This means that nodes with inadequate physical
protection are receptive to being captured, compromised, and hijacked.Since tracking down a particular mobile node in a global scale network cannot be done easily, attacks by a compromised node from within thenetwork are far more damaging and much harder to detect. Therefore,mobile nodes and the infrastructure must be prepared to operate in a modethat trusts no peer.Third, decision-making in mobile computing environment issometimes decentralized and some wireless network algorithms rely on thecooperative participation of all nodes and the infrastructure. The lack of centralized authority means that the adversaries can exploit this vulnerabilityfor new types of attacks designed to break the cooperative algorithms.To summarize, a mobile wireless network is vulnerable due to itsfeatures of open medium, dynamic changing network topology, cooperativealgorithms, lack of centralized monitoring and management point, and lack of a clear line of defense.
1.2. The Need for Intrusion Detection 
Intrusion prevention measures, such as encryption andauthentication, can be used in ad-hoc networks to reduce intrusions, butcannot eliminate them. For example, encryption and authentication cannotdefend against compromised mobile nodes, which often carry the privatekeys. Integrity validation using redundant information (from differentnodes), such as those being used in secure routing, also relies on thetrustworthiness of other nodes, which could likewise be a weak link for sophisticated attacks. To secure mobile computing applications, we need todeploy intrusion detection and response techniques, and further research isnecessary to adapt these techniques to the new environment, from their 
original applications in fixed wired network. In this paper, we focus on aparticular type of mobile computing environment called mobile ad-hocnetworks and propose a new model for intrusion detection and response for this environment. We will first give a background on intrusion detection,and then present our new architecture.

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