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An Overview and Study of Security issues & Challenges in Mobile Ad-hoc Networks

An Overview and Study of Security issues & Challenges in Mobile Ad-hoc Networks

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Published by ijcsis
Mobile ad-hoc network (MANET) is one of the most promising fields for research and development of wireless network. As the popularity of mobile device and wireless networks significantly increased over the past years, wireless ad-hoc networks has now become one of the most vibrant and active field of communication and networks. Due to severe challenges, the special features of MANET bring this technology great opportunistic together. This paper describes the fundamental problems of ad hoc network by giving its related research background including the concept, features, status, and vulnerabilities of MANET. This paper presents an overview and the study of the routing protocols. Also include the several challenging issues, emerging application and the future trends of MANET.
Mobile ad-hoc network (MANET) is one of the most promising fields for research and development of wireless network. As the popularity of mobile device and wireless networks significantly increased over the past years, wireless ad-hoc networks has now become one of the most vibrant and active field of communication and networks. Due to severe challenges, the special features of MANET bring this technology great opportunistic together. This paper describes the fundamental problems of ad hoc network by giving its related research background including the concept, features, status, and vulnerabilities of MANET. This paper presents an overview and the study of the routing protocols. Also include the several challenging issues, emerging application and the future trends of MANET.

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Published by: ijcsis on May 11, 2011
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(IJCSIS) International Journal of Computer Science and Information Security,Vol. 9, No. 4, April 2011
 An Overview and Study of Security Issues &Challenges in Mobile Ad-hoc Networks (MANET)
Umesh Kumar Singh
Institute of ComputerScience,Vikram University UjjainINDIA-456010
umeshsingh@rediffmail.com 
Shivlal Mewada
Institute of ComputerScience,Vikram UniversityUjjain INDIA-456010
shiv.mewada@gmail.com 
Lokesh laddhani
Institute of ComputerScience,Vikram University UjjainINDIA-456010
lokesh.laddhani@gmail.com 
Kamal Bunkar
Institute of ComputerScience,Vikram UniversityUjjain INDIA-456010
kamal.bunkar@gmail.com
 
 Abstract
- Mobile ad-hoc network (MANET) is one of themost promising fields for research and development of wireless network. As the popularity of mobile device andwireless networks significantly increased over the pastyears, wireless ad-hoc networks has now become one of the most vibrant and active field of communication andnetworks. Due to severe challenges, the special featuresof MANET bring this technology great opportunistictogether. This paper describes the fundamentalproblems of ad hoc network by giving its relatedresearch background including the concept, features,status, and vulnerabilities of MANET. This paperpresents an overview and the study of the routingprotocols. Also include the several challenging issues,emerging application and the future trends of MANET.
 Keywords:-
 
 MANET, Wireless Networks, Ad-hoc Network, Routing Protocol 
 
I.
 
INTRODUCTION
Mobile Ad Hoc Networks (MANETs) has become one of the most prevalent areas of research in the recent yearsbecause of the challenges it pose to the related protocols.MANET is the new emerging technology which enablesusers to communicate without any physical infrastructureregardless of their geographical location, that’s why it issometimes referred to as an infrastructure less network. Theproliferation of cheaper, small and more powerful devicesmake MANET a fastest growing network. An ad-hocnetwork is self-organizing and adaptive. Device in mobile adhoc network should be able to detect the presence of otherdevices and perform necessary set up to facilitatecommunication and sharing of data and service. Ad hocnetworking allows the devices to maintain connections to thenetwork as well as easily adding and removing devices toand from the network. Due to nodal mobility, the network topology may change rapidly and unpredictably over time.The network is decentralized, where network organizationand message delivery must be executed by the nodesthemselves. Message routing is a problem in a decentralizeenvironment where the topology fluctuates. While theshortest path from a source to a destination based on a givencost function in a static network is usually the optimal route,this concept is difficult to extend in MANET. The set of applications for MANETs is diverse, ranging from large-scale, mobile, highly dynamic networks, to small, staticnetworks that are constrained by power sources. Besides thelegacy applications that move from traditional infrastructureenvironment into the ad hoc context, a great deal of newservices can and will be generated for the new environment.MANET is more vulnerable than wired network due tomobile nodes, threats from compromised nodes inside thenetwork, limited physical security, dynamic topology,scalability and lack of centralized management. Because of these vulnerabilities, MANET is more prone to maliciousattacks.II.
 
MANET
 
VULNERABILITIESVulnerability is a weakness in security system. A particularsystem may be vulnerable to unauthorized datamanipulation because the system does not verify a user’sidentity before allowing data access. MANET is morevulnerable than wired network. Some of the vulnerabilitiesare as follows:-A.
 
 Lack of centralized management:
MANET doesn’t havea centralized monitor server. The absence of management makes the detection of attacks difficultbecause it is not east to monitor the traffic in a highlydynamic and large scale ad-hoc network. Lack of centralized management will impede trust managementfor nodes.B.
 
 Resource availability:
Resource availability is a majorissue in MANET. Providing secure communication insuch changing environment as well as protectionagainst specific threats and attacks, leads todevelopment of various security schemes andarchitectures. Collaborative ad-hoc environments also
106http://sites.google.com/site/ijcsis/ISSN 1947-5500
 
(IJCSIS) International Journal of Computer Science and Information Security,Vol. 9, No. 4, April 2011
allow implementation of self-organized securitymechanism.C.
 
Scalability:
Due to mobility of nodes, scale of ad-hocnetwork changing all the time. So scalability is a majorissue concerning security. Security mechanism shouldbe capable of handling a large network as well as smallones.D.
 
Cooperativeness:
Routing algorithm for MANETsusually assumes that nodes are cooperative and non-malicious. As a result a malicious attacker can easilybecome an important routing agent and disrupt network operation by disobeying the protocol specifications.E.
 
 Dynamic topology:
Dynamic topology and changeablenodes membership may disturb the trust relationshipamong nodes. The trust may also be disturbed if somenodes are detected as compromised. This dynamicbehavior could be better protected with distributed andadaptive security mechanisms.F.
 
 Limited power supply:
The nodes in mobile ad-hocnetwork need to consider restricted power supply,which will cause several problems. A node in mobilead-hoc network may behave in a selfish manner when itis finding that there is only limited power supply.G.
 
 Bandwidth constraint:
Variable low capacity linksexists as compared to wireless network which are moresusceptible to external noise, interference and signalattenuation effects.H.
 
 Adversary inside the Network:
The mobile nodes withinthe MANET can freely join and leave the network. Thenodes within network may also behave maliciously.This is hard to detect that the behavior of the node ismalicious. Thus this attack is more dangerous than theexternal attack. These nodes are called compromisednodes.I.
 
 No predefined Boundary:
In mobile ad- hoc networkswe cannot precisely define a physical boundary of thenetwork. The nodes work in a nomadic environmentwhere they are allowed to join and leave the wirelessnetwork. As soon as an adversary comes in the radiorange of a node it will be able to communicate with thatnode. The attacks include Eavesdroppingimpersonation; tempering, replay and Denial of Serviceattack [1].III.
 
SECURITY IDEASecurity involves a set of investments that are adequatelyfunded. In MANET, all networking functions such asrouting and packet forwarding, are performed by nodesthemselves in a self-organizing manner. For these reasons,securing a mobile ad -hoc network is very challenging. Thegoals to evaluate if mobile ad-hoc network is secure or notare as follows:A.
 
 Availability:
Availability means the assets areaccessible to authorized parties at appropriate times.Availability applies both to data and to services. Itensures the survivability of network service despitedenial of service attack.B.
 
Confidentiality:
Confidentiality ensures that computer-related assets are accessed only by authorized parties.That is, only those who should have access tosomething will actually get that access. To maintainconfidentiality of some confidential information, weneed to keep them secret from all entities that do nothave privilege to access them. Confidentiality issometimes called secrecy or privacy.C.
 
 Integrity:
Integrity means that assets can be modifiedonly by authorized parties or only in authorized way.Modification includes writing, changing status, deletingand creating. Integrity assures that a message beingtransferred is never corrupted.D.
 
 Authentication:
Authentication enables a node toensure the identity of peer node it is communicatingwith. Authentication is essentially assurance thatparticipants in communication are authenticated and notimpersonators. Authenticity is ensured because only thelegitimate sender can produce a message that willdecrypt properly with the shared key.E.
 
 Non repudiation:
Non repudiation ensures that senderand receiver of a message cannot disavow that theyhave ever sent or received such a message .This ishelpful when we need to discriminate if a node withsome undesired function is compromised or not.F.
 
 Anonymity:
Anonymity means all information that canbe used to identify owner or current user of node shoulddefault be kept private and not be distributed by nodeitself or the system software.G.
 
 Authorization:
This property assigns different accessrights to different types of users. For example a network management can be performed by network administrator only.IV.
 
BROADCASTING APPROACHES IN MANET
 
In MANET [2], a number of broadcasting approaches on thebasis of cardinality of destination set:
107http://sites.google.com/site/ijcsis/ISSN 1947-5500
 
(IJCSIS) International Journal of Computer Science and Information Security,Vol. 9, No. 4, April 2011
 
Unicasting-
Sending a message from a source to asingle destination.
 
 Multicasting
- Sending a message from a source to a setof destinations.
 
 Broadcasting
- Flooding of messages from a source toall other nodes in the specified network.
 
Geocasting-
Sending a message from a source to allnodes inside a geographical region.V.
 
ATTACKS IN MANETSecuring wireless ad-hoc networks is a highly challengingissue. Understanding possible form of attacks is always thefirst step towards developing good security solutions.Security of communication in MANET is important forsecure transmission of information [3]. Absence of anycentral co-ordination mechanism and shared wirelessmedium makes MANET more vulnerable to digital/cyberattacks than wired network there are a number of attacksthat affect MANET. These attacks can be classified into twotypes:
1. Exterior Attack:
External attacks are carried out by nodesthat do not belong to the network. It causes congestionsends false routing information or causes unavailability of services.
2. Interior Attack:
Internal attacks are from compromisednodes that are part of the network. In an internal attack themalicious node from the network gains unauthorized accessand impersonates as a genuine node. It can analyze trafficbetween other nodes and may participate in other network activities.A.
 
 Denial of Service attack:
This attack aims to attack theavailability of a node or the entire network. If the attack is successful the services will not be available. Theattacker generally uses radio signal jamming and thebattery exhaustion method.B.
 
 Impersonation:
If the authentication mechanism is notproperly implemented a malicious node can act as agenuine node and monitor the network traffic. It canalso send fake routing packets, and gain access to someconfidential information.C.
 
 Eavesdropping:
This is a passive attack. The nodesimply observes the confidential information. Thisinformation can be later used by the malicious node.The secret information like location, public key, privatekey, password etc. can be fetched by eavesdropper.D.
 
 Routing Attacks:
The malicious node make routingservices a target because it’s an important service inMANETs. There are two flavors to this routing attack.One is attack on routing protocol and another is attack on packet forwarding or delivery mechanism. The firstis aimed at blocking the propagation of routinginformation to a node. The latter is aimed at disturbingthe packet delivery against a predefined path.E.
 
 Black hole Attack:
In this attack, an attacker advertisesa zero metric for all destinations causing all nodesaround it to route packets towards it. A malicious nodesends fake routing information, claiming that it has anoptimum route and causes other good nodes to routedata packets through the malicious one. A maliciousnode drops all packets that it receives instead of normally forwarding those packets. An attacker listenthe requests in a flooding based protocol.F.
 
Wormhole Attack:
In a wormhole attack, an attackerreceives packets at one point in the network, “tunnels”them to another point in the network, and then replaysthem into the network from that point. Routing can bedisrupted when routing control message are tunneled.This tunnel between two colluding attacks is known asa wormhole.G.
 
 Replay Attack:
An attacker that performs a replay attack are retransmitted the valid data repeatedly to inject thenetwork routing traffic that has been capturedpreviously. This attack usually targets the freshness of routes, but can also be used to undermine poorlydesigned security solutions.H.
 
 Jamming:
In jamming, attacker initially keepmonitoring wireless medium in order to determinefrequency at which destination node is receiving signalfrom sender. It then transmit signal on that frequency sothat error free receptor is hindered.I.
 
 Man- in- the- middle attack:
An attacker sites betweenthe sender and receiver and sniffs any informationbeing sent between two nodes. In some cases, attackermay impersonate the sender to communicate withreceiver or impersonate the receiver to reply to thesender.J.
 
Gray-hole attack:
This attack is also known as routingmisbehaviour attack which leads to dropping of messages. Gray-hole attack has two phases. In the firstphase the node advertise itself as having a valid route todestination while in second phase, nodes dropsintercepted packets with a certain probability.VI.
 
MANET APPLICATIONSWith the increase of portable devices as well as progress inwireless communication, ad-hoc networking is gainingimportance with the increasing number of widespreadapplications. Ad-hoc networking can be applied anywhere
108http://sites.google.com/site/ijcsis/ISSN 1947-5500

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