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Due to their diverse applications, ad hoc networks are appealing for use in many domains. However, their features of open medium, absence of infrastructure, dynamic changing network topology, cooperative algorithms, lack of centralized monitoring and management point, resource constraints and lack of a clear line of defense, they are vulnerable to many attacks. Therefore, there is a major concern about their security. Amongst attacks we are particularly interested in a severe attack called the wormhole attack. In this paper, we propose a scheme for the wormhole attack detection and prevention. This scheme is based on a social science theory called the diffusion of innovations and serves all network nodes in detecting and preventing the attack even without prior interaction with malicious nodes. In order to implement this scheme, the routing protocol must be modified such as to allow the route selection based on nodes' opinions in each others. This is done by allowing each node to assign weights to other nodes in the network through different phases that will be explained in details. The scheme is totally decentralized and does not add an extra computational complexity to the nodes; which is one of the most important requirements for such networks.
Date of Conference: 10-12 April 2010