Skip to Main Content
Developing reliable security measures against outbreaks of malware will facilitate the proliferation of wireless sensing technologies. The first step toward this goal is to investigate potential attack strategies and the extent of damage they can incur. The malware at each infective node may seek to contact more susceptible nodes by amplifying the transmission range and the media scanning rate and thereby accelerate its spread. This may however lead to (a) easier detection of the malware and thus more effective counter-measure by the network, and (b) faster depletion of the battery which may in turn thwart further spread of the infection and/or exploitation of that node. We assume the viewpoint of the malware and cast the problem of dynamically selecting the transmission range and media access rate of the infective nodes as an optimal control problem. We utilize Pontryagin's maximum principle to find an optimum solution, and prove that the maximum damage can be attained using simple three-phase bang-bang strategies.