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Cognitive radios sense spectrum activity and apply spectrum policies in order to make decisions on when and in what bands they may communicate. These activities go beyond what is done when traditional radios communicate. This paper examines the denial of service vulnerabilities that are opened by these additional activities and explores potential protection remedies that can be applied. An analysis of how vulnerable are victim cognitive radios to potential denial of service attacks is presented along different axis, namely the network architecture employed, the spectrum access technique used and the spectrum awareness model. The goal is to assist cognitive radio designers to incorporate effective security measures now in the early stages of cognitive radio development.