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Cognitive radio is a revolutionary technology that promises to alleviate the spectrum shortage problem and to bring about remarkable improvement in spectrum utilization. Spectrum sensing is one of the essential mechanisms of CR and is an active area of research. Although the operational aspects of spectrum sensing are being studied actively, its security aspects have attracted very little attention. In this paper, we discuss security issues that may pose a serious threat to spectrum sensing. Specifically, we focus on two security threats - incumbent emulation and spectrum sensing data falsification - that may wreak havoc in distributed spectrum sensing. We also discuss methods for countering these threats and the technical hurdles that must be overcome to implement such countermeasures.
Date of Publication: April 2008