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International Journal of Internet Technology and Secured Transactions (IJITST), Vol.

No. 3, 2017 1

An extended AODV routing protocol for secure

MANETs based on node trust values

Pratik Gite
Institute of Engineering and Sciences,
IPS Academy,
Rajendra Nagar Indore, 452012, India

Dimitris Kanellopoulos*
ESD Lab, Department of Mathematics,
University of Patras,
University Campus, GR 26500, Rio, Patras, Greece
*Corresponding author

Dharmendra Choukse
Institute of Engineering and Sciences,
IPS Academy,
Rajendra Nagar Indore, 452012, India

Abstract: In mobile ad hoc networks (MANETs), various quality of service

problems exist such as high error rates, handling node mobility, inefficient
routing, power conservation, and limited processing capabilities of network
devices. In addition, sophisticated attacks on ad hoc routing protocol may occur
in the network and may result to insecure ad hoc routing. To obtain secure ad
hoc routing, misbehaving or malicious nodes should be detected and isolated.
Otherwise, the overall network performance will be decreased. The
participating nodes should establish a network with an acceptable level of trust
relationships among themselves. This problem is solved with the adoption of an
objective trust management framework and by extending the conventional
routing protocol. This paper proposes a new routing protocol (called
TRUST_AODV) that extends the Ad hoc On-Demand Distance Vector
(AODV) routing protocol by incorporating a trust algorithm that detects
misbehaving nodes. For each node, the proposed algorithm computes the
weighted trust by taking into account the packet delivery ratio, energy
consumption rate and buffer length. The TRUST_AODV routing protocol
secures the MANET against potential packet drop attacks and denial-of-service
(DoS) attacks. It also improves the network performance under heavy network
load conditions. The simulation results of TRUST_AODV demonstrate that it
supports secure routing and optimized performance over the conventional
AODV routing protocol.

Keywords: mobile ad hoc network; trust metrics; attack; secure routing;


Copyright © 2017 Inderscience Enterprises Ltd.

Reference to this paper should be made as follows: Gite, P., Kanellopoulos, D.
and Choukse, D. (201x) ‘An extended AODV routing protocol for secure
MANETs based on node trust values’, Int. J. Internet Technology and Secured
Transactions, Vol. X, No. Y, pp. xx-yy.

Biographical notes: Pratik Gite holds a Ph.D. in Computer Science and

Engineering from the Pacific Academy of Higher Education and Research
University, Udaipur (R.J.). He serves as an Assistant Professor in IES-IPS,
Indore. He has over 4.5 years teaching experience to U.G. and P.G. classes. He
has experience in industry and has participated in many
workshops/seminars/conferences at national and international level. He has
published over 13 papers. His research interests include: wireless networks,
MANETs, software engineering and software testing.

Dimitris N. Kanellopoulos is a member of the Educational Software

Development Laboratory (ESD Lab) in the Department of Mathematics at the
University of Patras, Greece. He received a Diploma in Electrical Engineering
and a Ph.D. in Electrical and Computer Engineering from the University of
Patras. Since 1990, he was a research assistant in the Dept of Electrical and
Computer Engineering at the University of Patras and involved in several EU
R&D projects. He is a member of the IEEE Technical Committee on
‘Multimedia communications’. He serves as a reviewer for highly-respected
journals such as: Journal of Network and Computer Applications (Elsevier),
International Journal of Communication Systems (Wiley), Journal of Systems
and Software (Elsevier), Information Sciences (Elsevier), Electronic Commerce
(Springer), IETE Technical Review (Taylor & Francis), The Electronic Library
(Emerald), International Journal of Ad Hoc and Ubiquitous Computing, etc. He
has served as a technical program committee member to more than 70
international conferences. His research interests include: multimedia
networking, mobile ad hoc networks, intelligent information systems and e-
learning technologies. He has many publications to his credit in international
journals and conferences at these areas. He has edited two books: ‘Intelligent
Multimedia Technologies for Networking Applications: Techniques and Tools’,
and ‘Emerging Research on Networked Multimedia Communication Systems’,
published by IGI Global. Dr. Kanellopoulos serves as an Editorial board
member in some refereed journals, such as Informatica.

Dharmendra Choukse holds a M.Tech in Information Technology from the

Devi Ahilya University, Indore, India. Currently, he is pursuing his Ph.D. in
Computer Science from the Institute of Computer Science, Vikram University,
Ujjain- India. He is also a Sr Software Engineer at the Institute of Engineering
& Sciences, IPS Academy. In the past, he was a software engineer in Choksi
Laboratories Ltd, Indore. His research interests include: network security,
secure electronic commerce, client-server computing, and IT-based education.

1 Introduction
A mobile ad hoc network (MANET) is a group of autonomous nodes that form a
dynamic, multi-hop radio network in a decentralized way (Loo et al., 2012). MANET
nodes can be a variety of mobile devices such as mobile phones, laptops or handheld
devices, which present various computational and bandwidth capabilities. Nodes
themselves implement the network management in a cooperative fashion. They operate
An extended AODV routing protocol for secure MANETs based on node trust values

on a multi-hop basis, while they are detecting routes and forwarding data packets. Since
the channel is broadcast in nature, multiple nodes contend for the channel simultaneously.
The wireless channel is also error-prone, and this situation becomes even worst as high
security threats such as sophisticated attacks on ad hoc routing protocol occur in the
network. Misbehaving nodes (both selfish and malicious ones) try often to exploit the
channel resources for their own purposes. This results to insecure ad hoc routing that
decreases the overall network performance (Kanellopoulos, 2017).
All participating nodes must establish a network with an acceptable level of trust
relationships among themselves. As a result, a trust management system is required.
Trust management in MANETs is more challenging than in centralized environments. In
MANETs, it can be applied at many decision making situations, including: isolating
misbehaving nodes for effective routing, intrusion detection, access control, and other
purposes (Cho et al., 2011). Trust management includes trust establishment, trust update,
and trust revocation (Theodorakopoulos & Baras, 2006). Trust establishment involves the
collection of appropriate trust evidence, trust generation, trust distribution, trust
discovery, and evaluation of trust evidence. However, the dynamic nature and
characteristics of MANET (e.g., inefficient routing, handling node mobility, power
conservation, limited processing capabilities of network devices, and high-error rates)
result in uncertainty and incompleteness of the trust evidence, which is continuously
changing over time (Eschenauer et al., 2002).
The Ad hoc On-Demand Distance Vector (AODV) is a well-established reactive
routing protocol that is used for MANETs and other wireless ad hoc networks (Perkins &
Royer, 1999; Jhaveri & Patel, 2015). The term “reactive” implies that routing does not
depend on periodic exchange of routing information or route calculation. When a route is
required, the node must start a route discovery process. However, AODV does not
provide secure routine services.
This paper presents a collaborative secure routing protocol for MANETs that is based
on AODV. The new protocol is called TRUST_AODV and extends the conventional
AODV routing protocol by incorporating a trust algorithm that detects misbehaving
nodes, both selfish nodes as well as malicious nodes. The key contributions of this work
can be summarized as follows:
 TRUST_AODV scheme secures the MANET against potential packet drop attacks
(i.e., blackhole attack) and denial-of-service (DoS) attacks.
 TRUST_AODV improves the MANET performance under heavy network load
The rest of the paper is organized as follows. Section 2 discusses trust management
design issues for MANETs. Section 3 describes some of the most important security
routing protocols for MANETs. Section 4 presents the new TRUST_AODV routing
scheme, while Section 5 presents its performance evaluation under two types of attacks
(blackhole and DoS). Finally, Section 6 concludes the paper and gives directions for
future work.
2 Trust Management in MANETs
Currently, two categories of trust management frameworks can be used to guarantee that
network nodes are performing a normal behavior:

• Policy-based trust management that takes binary decision according to which a

request is allowed or not. For distributed systems, like MANETs, policy-based
trust management cannot always be guaranteed.
• Reputation-based trust management that involves computational mechanisms to
estimate trust.

The reputation-based trust establishment framework is vulnerable under the selective

misbehavior attack, by which the attacker performs different behaviors to different nodes.
Therefore, it is unreasonable only one parameter (i.e., trust value) to be considered. To
solve these problems, Li et al. (2007) proposed an objective trust management framework
(OTMF) for MANETs, by which one node evaluates the trustworthiness of another node
objectively. OTMF is based not only on direct observations, but on second-hand
information. The evaluation results showed that the OTMF can obtain more reliable trust
than the reputation-based trust framework and can prevent the selective misbehavior
attack more effectively than the trust establishment framework.

2.1 Characteristics of Trust in MANETs

According to Cho et al. (2011) the fundamental properties of trust in MANETs are the
following ones:

• A decision method to determine trust against a node should be fully distributed

since the existence of a trusted third party (e.g., a trusted centralized certification
authority) cannot be assumed.
• Trust should be determined in a highly customizable manner without excessive
computation and communication load. Trust also should capture the complexities of
the trust relationship.
• A trust decision framework for MANETs should not assume that all nodes are
cooperative. In resource-restricted environments, selfishness is likely to be prevalent
over cooperation (e.g., for saving battery life or computational power).
• Trust is dynamic, not static. Trust establishment in MANETs should be based on
temporally and spatially local information. Actually, trust information is typically
incomplete and can change rapidly due to node’s mobility or failure.
• Trust should be established in a self-organized reconfigurable way in order not to be
disrupted by the dynamics of MANET environment.
• Trust is subjective.
• Trust is not necessarily transitive. The way that node A trusts B and B trusts C does
not suggest that A trusts C.
• Trust is asymmetric, not necessarily reciprocal.
• Trust is context-dependent. For instance, node A may trust node B in the context of
“energy consumption”, but not in the context of “trust of unselfishness”. In
MANETs, depending on the given task, different types of trust (e.g., trust in
An extended AODV routing protocol for secure MANETs based on node trust values

computational power or trust in unselfishness, trust in forwarding versus trust in

reporting) are required.

3 Routine Attacks and Secure Routing in MANETs

3.1 Routing attacks

Kannhavong et al. (2007) presented a survey of various routing attacks in MANETs.

Hereafter, we discuss only blackhole and DoS attacks.

Blackhole attack: A blackhole is a malicious node where incoming or outgoing data

packets are silently discarded (or “dropped”), without informing the source node that the
data did not reach its intended recipient. A blackhole node may respond positively to
route requests; even it does not have proper routing information. To initialize a packet
dropping attack, the blackhole may broadcast the message that it has the shortest path
towards a destination node. Next, all packets forwarded to it can be dropped (Hu &
Perrig, 2004). A special case of a blackhole attack is a grayhole attack, where the
malicious node (gray hole) selectively drops packets (Kardof & Wagner, 2003). For
example, a grayhole node may forward routing packets, but not data packets. Another
case of dropping attack is when a malicious node drops only packets, which have
destinations to selective nodes that it ‘dislikes’ (called selective misbehaving attack)
(Bhalaji & Shanmugam, 2009). It is difficult to detect and prevent packet dropping
attacks because they occur when the (malicious) node becomes compromised due to a
number of different causes. The only way packet dropping to be detected is by
monitoring the lost traffic. When other nodes notice that a compromised router is
dropping all packets, they will begin to remove that router from their routing table that
contains information about packets forwarding (Hernandez & Serrat, 2012). Therefore,
there is no packet forwarding through the compromised node. Djahel et al. (2011)
presented a comprehensive survey investigation on the state-of-the-art countermeasures
to deal with the packet dropping attack. Furthermore, they examined the challenges that
remain to be tackled by researchers for constructing an in-depth defense against such a
sophisticated attack.

Denial-of-Service (DoS) attack: A malicious node that performs a DoS attack may
block the normal use or management of node’s communication facilities. For example, it
may cause excessive resource consumption in the target node (Campbell, 2005). There
are many techniques to deploy a DoS attack in MANETs. A well-known technique is
‘packet flooding’, in which node resources are over-consumed and thus, the target node
becomes not serviceable. And this may lead to a failure in the delivery of assuring
services to the end-user. A DoS attack on the Physical and Medium Access Control
(MAC) Layers could apply jamming signals, which interrupt the ongoing
communications on the wireless channel. In the Network Layer, a DoS attack could take
part in the routine scheme and abuse the routing protocol in order to disturb the services
provided by the Network Layer.

3.2 Secure Routing

Secure routing is related with two concepts: one is exchanging routing information to
keep the network connected, and the other one involves secure data packet forwarding
(SAAR, SAODV, ARIADNE). The Secure Ad hoc On-Demand Distance Vector
(SAODV) addresses the problem of securing a MANET network (Cerri & Ghioni, 2008).
SAODV is an extension of the AODV routing protocol that can be used to protect the
route discovery mechanism providing security features like integrity, authentication and
non-repudiation. SAODV assumes that each ad hoc node has a signature key pair from a
suitable asymmetric cryptosystem. Further, each ad hoc node is capable of securely
verifying the association between the address of a given ad hoc node and the public key
of that node. Achieving this is the job of the key management scheme. It is noteworthy
that SAODV does not involve any concept of trust.
Pirzada et al. (2004) presented a trust-based routing protocol with probability of
packet forwarding. It measures the direct trust of nodes by the number of packets
forwarded and dropped by it. At each node, it increments the trust value on successful
forwarding of packets and decrements the trust value upon dropping the packets. This
approach is incorporated in the Dynamic Source Routing (DSR) protocol. While finding
the routing path, the trust value is piggybacked with the route request packet.
Li et al. (2004) extended AODV and adopted a trust model to guard against malicious
behaviors of nodes at the network layer. They represented trust as opinion stemming from
subjective logic. The opinion reflects the characteristics of trust in MANETs, particularly
dynamicity. The key feature is to consider system performance aspects by dealing with
each query, based on its level of trust. Depending on the level of trust of nodes involved
in the query, there is no need for a node to request and verify certificates all the time,
thereby leading to significant reduction of computation and communication overhead.
This work advances trust management by considering a generic trust management
framework for MANETs.
Pisinou et al. (2004) developed a secure AODV-based routing protocol for multi-hop
ad hoc networks for discovering a secure end-to-end route free of any compromised
nodes. Their trust-based routing protocol calculates trust values based only on direct
observations, assuming that trust is transitive. Sun et al. (2006) proposed trust modeling
and evaluation methods for secure ad hoc routing and malicious node detection. The
unique part of their design is to consider trust as a measure of uncertainty that can be
calculated using entropy. In their definition, trust is a continuous variable, and does not
need to be transitive, thus capturing some of the characteristics of trust in MANETs.
However, their work considers packet dropping as the only component of direct
observations to evaluate trust.
Theodorakopoulos and Baras (2006) proposed a trust evidence evaluation scheme for
MANETs. The evaluation process is modeled as a path problem in a directed graph,
where vertices represent entities and edges represent trust relations. They employed the
theory of Semi-rings to show how two nodes can establish trust relationships without
prior direct interactions. Abusalah et al. (2008) proposed a trust-aware routing protocol
(TARP) and developed a trust metric based on six trust components including: (1)
software configuration, (2) hardware configuration, (3) battery power, (4) credit history,
(5) exposure and (6) organizational hierarchy. However, they did not consider trust decay
over time and space to reflect uncertainty due to dynamics and incomplete information in
MANET environments. Nekkanti and Lee (2004) extended AODV by using trust factor
and security level at each node. Their approach deals differently with each route request,
An extended AODV routing protocol for secure MANETs based on node trust values

based on the node’s trust factor and security level. In a typical scheme, routing
information for every request is usually encrypted leading to large overheads. Nekkanti
and Lee (2004) proposed the use of different levels of encryption based on the trust factor
of a node, thus reducing overhead. Their approach adjusts the security level based on the
recognized hostility level and hence can conserve resources. However, their approach
does not treat evaluation of trust itself.
As it was mentioned before, most solutions for secure routing prevent malicious
activities and include cryptography and authentication operations. These operations are
very complex and consume large amounts of energy (battery life) in the context of
availability of node resources. Therefore, a light-weight security solution to the problem
is required in order to increase the MANET throughput. To this direction, Marchang and
Datta (2012) presented a light-weight trust-based routing protocol, in which the trust
values of neighbor node, as well as the trust value of routing paths, are also maintained.
This approach only considers a single parameter (i.e., packet forwarding). Packet
forwarding is important to evaluate the nodes’ capability and steadfastness in relaying
packets to make cognizant routing decisions. Finally, Mahmaud et al. (2015) proposed
two trust-based and energy-aware routing protocols, called the ‘Shortest Reliable Route’
(SRR) and the ‘Best Available Route’ (BAR). Their goal is to establish stable and reliable
resources to diminish the likelihood of breaking due to the lack of energy, malicious node
behavior, and limited ability of hardware resources, etc. SRR protocol computes shortest
route that satisfies the source node’s requirements together with energy, trust, and route
length. For BAR protocol, the objective node receives multiple routes and selects the
most trustworthy one.

4. The TRUST_AODV Routing Protocol

In this section, we introduce a new collaborative secure routing protocol for MANETs,
called TRUST_AODV. The TRUST_AODV routing scheme extends the conventional
AODV routing protocol by incorporating a trust algorithm that detects misbehaving
nodes. In this way, it upgrades the AODV routing scheme by adding a secure routing
function that is based on node’s trust values. In TRUST_AODV, the decision procedure
to determine the ‘trust’ of a node is fully distributed based on cooperative evaluation. For
each node, the proposed trust algorithm dynamically observes three performance metrics
(i.e., packet drop ratio, buffer length, and energy consumption) in order to compute a
‘weighted trust value’ (and thus a negative trust threshold) that will be used to detect
misbehaving nodes in the network. In TRUST_AODV, trust evaluation is based only on
direct observations of three performance metrics. The TRUST_AODV routing scheme
can estimate how MANET performance is scaled, and how secure routing is ensured
when two different types of attacks (i.e., blackhole and DoS attacks) occur. In particular,
TRUST_AODV scheme has the following features:
 It secures the MANET against a potential blackhole attack (i.e., packet drop attack).
 It secures the MANET against a potential DoS attack.
 It improves the MANET performance under heavy network load conditions.

TRUST_AODV scheme obtains these features by computing trust values for each node.
In particular, it observes the following performance metrics for each node:
 Packet drop ratio (P): The amount of packets that are dropped by a MANET node.
 Buffer length (B): The amount of queue in a node that is filled up during the
communication. The node buffer space is the number of packets in a node’s
transmission buffer. It plays a major part in determining the amount of delay, a
packet travelling through that node, will suffer.
 Energy consumption (E): The rate of energy that is consumed in a given time interval
in a node.

Trust computation: Using these node’s properties, the trust value is computed for each
node. Then, the mean values of P, B, E metrics (for the whole network) are computed as

𝐸𝑛 = ∑𝑁
𝑖=1 𝐸𝑖 (1)
𝑃𝑛 = ∑𝑁 𝑃 (2)
𝑁 𝑖=1 𝑖
1 𝑁
𝐵𝑛 = ∑𝑖=1 𝐵𝑖 (3)

where N represents the number of nodes participating in the network.

By using the mean values (En, Pn , Bn), the weighted trust (W) is computed:

W = w1 * En + w2 * Pn + w3 * Bn (4)

where the coefficients w1, w2, w3 take values in the range [0, 1] and satisfy the condition:

w1 + w2 + w3 = 1 (5)

The computed weight (W) is the Positive trust threshold for all nodes, while the
Negative trust threshold is:

Tnegative = 1 – W (6)

4.1 Threat model used

Defining a threat model is directly related to applying assumptions to attacker
capabilities. The attacker capability (or strength) is determined by:
 The attacker’s communication capability. The attacker communication range and
ability to share information with other attackers relate to the attacker’s ability to
learn information required to break a protocol.
 Whether the attacker is insider or an outsider. The attacker’s status as an insider
vs. an outsider determines what type of messages the attacker can generate.
 Whether a single or multiple attackers exist.
A threat model can evaluate route discovery attacks against ad hoc routing protocols
in MANET. Obviously, route discovery attackers attempt to corrupt routes to be
inconsistent with the current network topology. Threat modelling allows us to evaluate
route corruption attempts and identify attacker capability under which a protocol may
fail. MANET secure routing protocols must ensure the route discovery process delivers
An extended AODV routing protocol for secure MANETs based on node trust values

routes that reflect the current network topology. The most common approach to model
attacker capabilities used throughout the MANET community is to assume the attacker
node has the same capabilities as any node within the network. However, forcing an
attacker to use nodes without any additional capability unrealistically limits the attacker.
Recent efforts can more formally model the attacker. For example, Hu et al. (2005)
presented a formalized attacker model (called active-n-m), where n is the number of
compromised insiders that hold keying material, and m is the total number of attacker
nodes in the network. All attacker nodes in the active-n-m approach have the same
capabilities as non-malicious nodes, plus the nodes have the ability to distribute
compromised keys to other m-1 attackers. Acs et al (2006) utilized the active-n-m
approach with an additional configuration limitation. They combined all neighboring
attackers that can share information from captured messages during network operation
into a single node location, effectively changing the network topology. Overall, their
approach is inappropriate, since malicious nodes cannot assume the attackers will
cooperate as a single entity to provide a path during route discovery.
In the secure routing community, the attacker model does not traditionally follow
formalized attacker models, such as the Dolev-Yao model. The Dolev-Yao model is the
traditional approach to formally model attackers against authentication protocols (Dolev
&Yao, 1983). Andel and Yasinsac (2008) proposed a threat model that allows the
security analyst to identify capabilities required to break a routing protocol. Their model
offers to the security analyst nine different scenarios that must be analyzed in order to
provide a complete analysis picture. Within their attacker classification, an outsider node
can capture any messages transmitted within its reception range, can reply messages it
has captured, and can create messages from information it has recovered from original
knowledge or captures messages.

In our framework, we propose a threat model (Fig. 1) that assumes the following:
 Valid routes that fail due to node movement are not malicious.
 Analysis using this threat model views the MANET as a snapshot in time.
 Any node can harm the network by disrupting routing information. An attacker
node has the same capabilities as any node within the network. Malicious nodes
can join and leave the network.
 Blackhole and DoS attacks may occur in MANET, and thus malicious nodes are
classified as nodes that perform blackhole or DoS attacks.
 The threat model itself can evaluate malicious node behaviour by calculating
different threshold trust constraints. A node may have a positive or a negative
trust value, while threshold trust values are calculated based on three different
network parameters.

In our threat model, firstly, we select the number of nodes which are dispersed
randomly in MANET environment using a simulation tool. These nodes are moving in a
predefined simulation area. After that, a source node initiates the route discovery process
by sending a RREQ message to all nodes. For establishing a route to the destination, it
waits until all replies are received. Using the RREQ and REEP procedure, once a route is
established, the communication will start.
In order to prevent a malicious attacker, the TRUST_AODV based scheme is applied
by computing trust value of all nodes. In this scheme, the trust values of all nodes are
calculated. As we mentioned earlier a node trust value may be positive or negative. We
calculate the threshold trust values for negative and positive trust, based on three
parameters: packet drop ratio, node buffer length, and energy consumption. In particular,
two checks are achieved: (1) the first one for negative trust value and (2) the second one
for positive trust value. Based to their results, we can categorize a node as malicious or

Figure 1: Threat model used

4.2 Qualitative comparison of TRUST_AODV

Table 1 shows a qualitative comparison of TRUST AODV with three basic related
routing protocols.
Table 1: Qualitative comparison of TRUST_AODV

4.3 The Trust Algorithm

The proposed trust algorithm detects misbehaving nodes by using the positive and
negative trust thresholds. Table 2 shows the pseudocode of the detection algorithm.

Detection adaptability: In the TRUST_AODV routing scheme, trust is determined in a

highly customizable way (e.g., flexible to node’s changes and to attack scenarios). The
proposed trust algorithm is adaptive in detecting various types of attacks by changing its
coefficients values w1, w2, w3... For example, if we have a type of attack that results to a
large amount of energy consumption to some node(s), then we can adopt and use a larger
coefficient w3 (instead of 1/3=0.3333) in order to compute trust under an attack that
consumes large amounts of energy. In this way, the trust algorithm can detect more easily
malicious nodes that cause energy consumption to other nodes. The proper selection of
the coefficients can be performed according to the design aspects such as to detect
various types of attacks.

Table 2: The proposed detection algorithm based on trust threshold values

5. Performance Evaluation
5.1 Simulation setup

We implemented the AODV and TRUST_AODV routing models by using NS-2 network
simulator (Kim, 2011). The aodv-uu software (Nordstrom, 2016) used in our simulation
experiments is the most updated software we have encountered. In particular,
TRUST_AODV model was implemented by extending the AODV model and by
incorporating the proposed detection algorithm (Table 2). We prepared the following
simulation setup (see Table 3) in order to evaluate the performance of TRUST_AODV
An extended AODV routing protocol for secure MANETs based on node trust values

versus AODV by taking into account the simulations of blackhole and DoS attacks.
Consequently, we carried out two simulation scenarios and evaluated the performance of

Table 3: The simulation parameters

By using TRUST_AODV, we created and configured a small size MANET that contains
20, 40, 60, 80 and 100 nodes. In order to generate the blackhole attack, we used a
constant bit rate (CBR) service that generates UDP packets. UDP is a connectionless
protocol that can easily implement a blackhole attack. The packet size for CBR was 1000
bytes, while the simulation was carried out for 30.0 ms. We defined the locations of
nodes manually in TCL script. Also, we used the Omni antenna model: a wireless
transmitting or receiving antenna that radiates or interrupt radio-frequency (RF)
electromagnetic fields equally well in all horizontal directions in a flat, two-dimensional
(2D) geometric plane. The parameter of topography area indicates the area where the
nodes can be moved in all directions. Finally, we used the “Two Ray ground”
propagation model to predict the received signal power for each packet. The random
mobility model was used to simulate the mobility of nodes.

Blackhole attack: In this simulation scenario, the network is configured with the
TRUST_AODV routing scheme and the network performance is observed. Figure 2
shows a screenshot concerning the simulation of the network, when it is under a
blackhole attack. Legitimate nodes are depicted with the green colour, while attacker
nodes are depicted using the red colour.
DoS attack: Figure 3 shows a screenshot concerning the simulation of a network
under DoS attack. Legitimate nodes are depicted using the blue color, while malicious
nodes are depicted using the red.

Figure 2: Simulation of blackhole attack

Figure 3: Simulation of DoS attack

After the simulation of the blackhole attack, we assured that there is no attacker found,
when TRUST_AODV routing is used. Similarly, after the simulation of the DoS attack,
we observed that the flooding of the data packets is zero, when TRUST_AODV is used.

5.2 Results Analysis and Discussion

The performance of the TRUST_AODV routing protocol in terms of end-to-end delay,

packet deliver ratio (PDR), throughput, energy consumption, and routing overhead, has
been evaluated and compared with the performance of the AODV under the assumption
of blackhole and DoS attacks. Hereafter, we analyze the simulation results for both attack
scenarios. We present comparative outcomes (TRUST_AODV vs. AODV) for certain
performance parameters under both attacks.

5.2.1 Blackhole attack results

Three evaluation metrics used in this attack scenario:
 End-to-end delay (E2E Delay): It refers to the time taken for a packet to be broadcast
across a network from the resource to the destination. It is calculated as follows:
E2E Delay = Receiving Time – Sending Time.

 Packet Delivery Ratio (PDR): PDR provides information about the performance of
any routing protocol by defining the successfully delivered packets to the destination
node. PDR can be estimated as follows:
𝑇𝑜𝑡𝑎𝑙 𝐷𝑒𝑙𝑖𝑣𝑒𝑟𝑒𝑑 𝑃𝑎𝑐𝑘𝑒𝑡𝑠
𝑇𝑜𝑡𝑎𝑙 𝑆𝑒𝑛𝑡 𝑃𝑎𝑐𝑘𝑒𝑡𝑠

 Network throughput: The throughput of a channel is a measure of amount of data

actually moves through the channel. It is measured in bps (or in data packets per
second or data packets per time slot).

The simulations results are presented in the form of ‘lines’. The X-axis of the following
graphs represents the number of nodes that participate in the network. In this
implementation, we compared TRUST_AODV with AODV under blackhole and
flooding (DoS) attack (Panwar et al, 2017).

1) Effect of blackhole attack on E2E Delay: Figure 4 shows the comparative E2E Delay
for AODV and TRUST_AODV routing schemes. The Y-axis of the graph shows the E2E
Delay (milliseconds). Under blackhole attack, TRUST_AODV scheme produces less
E2E Delay compared to the conventional AODV. Consequently, TRUST_AODV is a
secure routing scheme (more robust that AODV) that produces less E2E Delay.
2) Effect of blackhole attack on PDR: Figure 5 shows the comparison of PDR for both
routing schemes. The Y-axis of the graph shows the amount of packets successfully
delivered in terms of the percentage. The red line depicts the PDR when AODV is used,
while the blue line depicts the PDR when TRUST_AODV is used. According to the
incurred consequences, TRUST_AODV delivers more packets compared to AODV, even
when the network contains the attacker node. Therefore, TRUST_AODV is able to
escape the blackhole attack effect and improves the MANET performance.
3) Effect of blackhole attack on Throughput: Figure 6 shows the comparison of
throughput for both routing schemes. The Y-axis of the graph shows the network
throughput (in Kbps). The blue line depicts the throughput of TRUST_AODV and the red
line depicts the throughput of AODV. As we observe, TRUST_AODV improves the
throughput during the blackhole attack. Therefore, TRUST_AODV is avoiding
effectively the blackhole attack and it outperforms against to AODV scheme.

Figure 4: Comparison of E2E Delay (TRUST_AODV vs. AODV) under blackhole attack

Figure 5: Comparison of PDR (TRUST_AODV vs. AODV) under blackhole attack

Figure 6: Comparison of Throughput (TRUST_AODV vs. AODV) under blackhole attack

5.2.2 DoS attack results

An extended AODV routing protocol for secure MANETs based on node trust values

In DoS attack scenario, three evaluation metrics were used: energy consumption, packet
deliver ratio and routing overhead.
 Energy consumption: The amount of energy consumed during the network events is
termed as the energy consumption (or the energy drop) of the network. In
networking, for each individual event an important amount of energy is consumed.
The opposite term is remaining energy (energy efficiency).
 Packet Delivery Ratio (PDR): PDR defines the successfully delivered packets to the
destination node.
 Routing overhead: It is the amount of additional packets injected in the network for
communication. We selected to evaluate the routing overhead because PDR and data
transmission rate are reducing when routing overhead is getting extremely high

1) Effect of DoS attack on Energy consumption: Figure 7 illustrates the comparison of

Energy efficiencies (TRUST_AODV versus AODV). The red line shows the amount of
the remaining energy when AODV is being simulated. The blue line shows the total
remaining energy, when TRUST_AODV is used. In AODV simulation, the energy
consumption is larger than those occur in the case of the TRUST_AODV. This happens
because the DoS flooding attack (targeting the network) is consuming the network
resources. Therefore, TRUST_AODV is more effective than AODV and can recover the
network from DoS attacks.

2) Effect of DoS attack on PDR: Figure 8 shows the comparison of PDR

(TRUST_AODV vs. AODV). The Y-axis of the graph shows PDR. The red line depicts
the PDR when AODV is simulated. The blue line depicts the PDR, when the network is
configured with TRUST_AODV. According to the characteristics of the DoS attack, the
network is affected by the attacker. The amount of packet delivered to the target
destination (PDR) is not so much successful, and thus the PDR is degraded during attack.
Additionally, after recovering the attack, the PDR increases, and thus the network
performance. Therefore, the TRUST_AODV succeeds a higher PDR comparing with
AODV. Thus, the TRUST_AODV can recover the network from any malicious attacker

3) Effect of DoS attack on Routing overhead: The routing overhead increases the
amount of bandwidth consumption. Figure 9 shows the network performance in terms of
the routing overhead. The Y-axis of the graph informs us about the regular routing
transparency of the network. The red line depicts the routing overhead through the
AODV, while the blue line depicts the routing overhead through the TRUST_AODV.
According to the simulation results for AODV (red line), the routing overhead is
increasing significantly in MANET as the number of nodes is increasing. Consequently,
the AODV scheme leads to an increasing routing overhead in the network. On the
contrary, when the network is configured through the TRUST_AODV scheme, the
routing overhead becomes almost constant (blue line). We conclude that the
TRUST_AODV is able to recover the network from the DoS attack.

Figure 7: Comparison of energy efficiency (TRUST_AODV vs. AODV) under DoS attack
Figure 8: Comparison of PDR (TRUST_AODV vs. AODV) under DoS attack

Figure 9: Comparison of routing overhead (TRUST_AODV vs. AODV) under DoS attack.

5.3 Cost analysis of TRUST_AODV

A MANET is a dynamic network in which each node has limited power and bandwidth
resources due to its mobile nature and shared channel. Consequently, a cost analysis is
required. Hereafter, we present the computation and communication overhead analysis of
our proposed scheme.

5.3.1 Computation cost analysis using PDR

The computation cost depends on the various computational tasks performed in each
node of the network. For example, a malicious user (node) may perform a task that
captures meaningful information in order to harm the basic functioning of the MANET.
Obviously, the computation cost is closely related with the PDR that occurs in a network
session. PDR represents the performance of secure routing in MANET because routing
latency is directly proportional to the computation cost (computational time in ms). In
each communication session, PDR is different from those PDR values observed in the
previous communication sessions. As a result, we must calculate the average PDR. For
both routing protocols, we calculated the Average PDR in percentage amount, as well as
the saving in computation cost. In particular, we found:
 Average PDR in TRUST_AODV = 91.2 %
 Average PDR in AODV = 13.2 %
Average PDR in AODV 13.2 %
Saving in computation cost = = = 14.47%
Average PDR in TRUST_AODV 91.2 %

In TRUST_AODV, we have important saving in computation cost (14.47%) that leads to

low routing latency. Thus, TRUST_AODV can help the network to recover from
malicious activities and route a large amount of data packets efficiently.

5.3.2 Communication cost analysis using average Throughput

In MANET, transmitter Tx and receiver R X are communicating using intermediate mobile

nodes. The communication cost is closely related with the average Throughput, obtained
in a communication session in the network. We calculated the average throughputs for
both routing protocols. In particular, we found:
 Average Throughput using TRUST_AODV = 28 Kbps
 Average Throughput using AODV = 14.4 Kbps

Consequently, the saving in communication cost is:

Average Throughput using AODV 14.4 Kbps
Saving in communication cost = = = 51.42 %
Average Throughput using TRUSTAODV 28 Kbps
An extended AODV routing protocol for secure MANETs based on node trust values

6. Conclusion
Due to packet drop attacks on ad hoc routing protocol, the performance of a MANET
may be decreased. Detecting misbehaviour nodes can be obtained by using a trust
management model for MANETs. Such model must be incorporated in the routing
protocol and can increase the network performance. In this paper, we proposed a new
secure routing protocol (TRUST_AODV) that extends the AODV routing protocol by
incorporating a trust algorithm that detects misbehaving nodes. TRUST_AODV is a
secure routing protocol for MANETs that does not impose heavy computation
requirements and unrealistic communication (i.e., it is light-weight). In this paper, we
investigated the performance of TRUST_AODV under the assumption of supporting
defence under blackhole and DoS attacks. The simulation results demonstrated that
TRUST_AODV outperforms AODV. TRUST_AODV secures the MANET against
potential packet drop attacks and DoS attacks. In addition, it improves the network
performance under heavy network load conditions. In future work, we will examine how
TRUST_AODV performs under other types of attacks such as wormhole.

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Figure 1: Threat model used
Figure 2: Simulation of blackhole attack (see online version for colours)

Figure 3: Simulation of DoS attack (see online version for colours)

An extended AODV routing protocol for secure MANETs based on node trust values

Figure 4: Comparison of E2E Delay (TRUST_AODV vs. AODV) under blackhole attack (see
online version for colours)

Figure 5: Comparison of PDR (TRUST_AODV vs. AODV) under blackhole attack (see online
version for colours)
Figure 6: Comparison of Throughput (TRUST_AODV vs. AODV) under blackhole attack (see
online version for colours)

Figure 7: Comparison of energy efficiency (TRUST_AODV vs. AODV) under DoS attack (see
online version for colours)

Compare Energy Efficiencies

Remaining Energy (in %)

70 Remaining Energy in
Remaining Energy in
0 50 100 150
No of Nodes
An extended AODV routing protocol for secure MANETs based on node trust values

Figure 8: Comparison of PDR (TRUST_AODV vs. AODV) under DoS attack (see online version
for colours)

Figure 9: Comparison of routing overhead (TRUST_AODV vs. AODV) under DoS attack (see
online version for colours)
Table 1: Qualitative comparison of TRUST_AODV

Routing Features Comments

It does not consider security. AODV is a collaborative protocol that allows
AODV In particular, AODV nodes to share the information they have
messages are neither about other nodes. If an intermediate node
encrypted, authenticated, or already knows a route toward the destination,
integrity protected and are it generates a RREP message and does not
always assumed as trusted. forward the RREQ any further.
Secure AODV SAODV is a security SAODV does not require additional messages
(SAODV) extension of the AODV with respect to AODV. However, SAODV
(Zapata & protocol, based on public key messages are significantly bigger, generally
Asokan,2002) cryptography. because of digital signatures.
The hop count cannot be signed by the
sender, because it must be incremented at
every hop. Therefore, to avoid malicious
intermediate nodes to decrement it, a
mechanism based on hash chains is used.
Adaptive Secure A-SAODV is a multi- In A_SAODV, there are two execution
AODV threaded application: threads: the first thread is dedicated to
(A_SAODV) cryptographic operations are cryptographic operations and the second
(Cerri & Ghioni, performed by a dedicated thread to all other functions (routing message
2008) thread to avoid blocking the processing, SAODV routing table
processing of other management, timeout management, SAODV
messages. message generation, and data packet
forwarding). The two threads communicate
via a first input first output (FIFO) queue
containing all the messages that must be
signed or verified.
TRUST_AODV It extends the AODV routing For each node, the trust algorithm computes
protocol by incorporating a the weighted trust by taking into account the
trust algorithm that detects PDR, energy consumption rate and buffer
misbehaving nodes. It length. TRUST_AODV improves the
secures the MANET against network performance under heavy network
potential packet drop attacks load conditions.
and DoS attacks.
An extended AODV routing protocol for secure MANETs based on node trust values

Table 2: The proposed detection algorithm based on trust threshold values

01: INPUT:
02: NN (nodes of the network)
04: MS (detected nodes which are malicious)
05: Procedure TRUST_AODV:
06: A source node SENDS RREQ to destination D
07: WAIT for reverse path creation.
09: COMPUTE: Node positive trust(W) and Node negative trust(1-W)
10: IF (Node’s Tnegative > threshold Tnegative)
11: THEN Node=Malicious
13: IF (Node’s W > threshold W)
14: THEN Node=Legitimate

Table 3: The simulation parameters

Simulation parameters Values

Antenna model: Omni Antenna

Topography area: 100 x 100

Radio-propagation: Two Ray Ground

Channel type: Wireless Channel

Number of mobile nodes: 20, 40, 60, 80 and 100

Routing protocols: AODV and TRUST_AODV

Time of simulation: 30.0 seconds

Mobility model: Random way point mobility model