Alibi Framework for Identifying Reactive Jamming Nodes in Wireless LAN

Nguyen, H., Pongthawornkamol, T., Nahrstedt, K.

IEEE Global Telecommunications Conference (GLOBECOM 2011), pp.1-6, 5-9 Dec. 2011.

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Reactive jamming nodes are the nodes of the network that get compromised and become the source of jamming attacks. They assume to know any shared secrets and protocols used in the networks. Thus, they can jam very effectively and are very stealthy. We propose a novel framework for identifying the reactive jamming nodes in wireless LAN (WLAN). We rely on the half-duplex nature of nodes: they cannot transmit and receive at the same time. Thus, if a compromised node jams a packet, it cannot guess the content of the jammed packet. More importantly, if an honest node receives a jammed packet, it can prove that it cannot be the one jamming the packet by showing the content of the packet. Such proofs of jammed packets are called "alibis" - the key concept of our approach. In this paper, we present an alibi framework to deal with reactive jamming nodes in WLAN. We propose a concept of alibi-safe topologies on which our proposed identification algorithms are proved to correctly identify the attackers. We further propose a realistic protocol to implement the identification algorithm. The protocol includes a BBC-based timing channel for information exchange under the jamming situation and a similarity hashing technique to reduce the storage and network overhead. The framework is evaluated in a realistic TOSSIM simulation where the simulation characteristics and parameters are based on real traces on our small-scale MICAz test-bed. The results show that in reasonable dense networks, the alibi framework can accurately identify both non-colluding and colluding reactive jamming nodes.

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