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A mobile ad hoc network consists of a collection of wireless mobile nodes that are capable of communicating with each other without the use of a network infrastructure or any centralized administration. MANET is an emerging research area with practical applications. However, wireless MANET is particularly vulnerable due to its fundamental characteristics, such as open medium, dynamic topology, distributed cooperation, and constrained capability. Routing plays an important role in the security of the entire network. In general, routing security in wireless MANETs appears to be a problem that is not trivial to solve. In this article we study the routing security issues of MANETs, and analyze in detail one type of attack-the "black hole" problem-that can easily be employed against the MANETs. We also propose a solution for the black hole problem for ad hoc on-demand distance vector routing protocol.
Date of Publication: Oct 2002