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The increasing popularity and usage of wireless technology is creating a need for more secure wireless networks. Wireless networks are particularly vulnerable to a powerful attack known as the wormhole attack. An attacker records packets at one location in the network and tunnels them to another location. Routing can be disrupted when routing control messages are tunneled. This tunnel between two colluding attackers is referred as a wormhole. Wormhole attacks are severe threats to MANET routing protocols. For example, when a wormhole attack is used against an on-demand routing protocol such as DSR or AODV, the attack could prevent the discovery of any routes other than through the wormhole. This project designed and developed a new protocol that prevents wormhole attacks on wireless networks. The design of this protocol is based on the use of asymmetric and symmetric key cryptography and a Global Positioning System (GPS). It was evaluated using simulations under realistic ad-hoc network settings. The simulations identified the strengths and weaknesses of this protocol under different distributions of GPS and non-GPS nodes, network areas and network structures. Within a set of requirements and assumptions, this wireless security protocol can detect nearly half of wormhole attacks by relying on each node's relative location.
Date of Conference: 17-19 Sept. 2010