Authors: Sbeiti, Mohamad
Title: Secure and efficient routing in highly dynamic WLAN mesh networks
Language (ISO): en
Abstract: Recent advances in embedded systems, energy storage, and communication interfaces, accompanied by the falling prices of WLAN routers and a considerable increase in the throughput of a WLAN (IEEE 802.11), have facilitated the proliferation of WLAN Mesh Network (WMN) applications. In addition to their current deployments in less dynamic community networks, WMNs have become a key solution in various highly dynamic scenarios. For instance, WMNs are intended to interconnect self-organized, cooperative, and small Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs) in a wide range of applications, such as emergency response, environmental monitoring, and ad-hoc network provisioning. Nevertheless, WMNs still face major security challenges as they are prone to routing attacks. Consequently, the network can be sabotaged and, in the case of UAV-WMN-supported missions, the attacker might manipulate payload data or even hijack UAVs. Contemporary security standards, such as the IEEE 802.11i and the security mechanisms of the IEEE 802.11s mesh standard, are vulnerable to routing attacks, as experimentally shown in this research. Therefore, a secure routing protocol is indispensable for making feasible the deployment of WMNs in critical scenarios, such as UAV-WMN-assisted applications. As far as the author of this thesis knows, none of the existing research approaches for secure routing in WMNs have gained acceptance in practice due to their high overhead or strong assumptions. In this research, a new approach, which is called Position-Aware, Secure, and Efficient mesh Routing (PASER), is proposed. This new proposal defeats more attacks than the IEEE 802.11s/i security mechanisms and the well-known, secure routing protocol Authenticated Routing for Ad-hoc Networks (ARAN), without making restrictive assumptions. It is shown that PASER achieves —in realistic UAV-WMN scenarios— similar performance results as the well-established, nonsecure routing protocols Hybrid Wireless Mesh Protocol (HWMP) combined with the IEEE 802.11s security mechanisms. Two representative scenarios are considered: (1) on-demand ubiquitous network access and (2) efficient exploration of sizable areas in disaster relief. The performance evaluation results are produced using an experimentally validated simulation model of WMNs, realistic mobility patterns of UAVs, and an experimentally derived channel model for the air-to-air WMN link between UAVs. The findings of this evaluation are justified by the route discovery delay and the message overhead of the considered solutions.
Subject Headings: WLAN mesh networks
Secure routing
Routing Attacks
IEEE 802. 11s
IEEE 802. 11i
Issue Date: 2015
Appears in Collections:Lehrstuhl für Kommunikationsnetze

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