Most of the routing protocols in wireless ad hoc networks, such as DSR, assume nodes are trustworthy and cooperative. This assumption renders wireless ad hoc networks vulnerable to various types of Denial of Service (DoS) attacks. We present a distributed probing technique to detect and mitigate one type of DoS attacks, namely malicious packet dropping, in wireless ad hoc networks. A malicious node can promise to forward packets but in fact fails to do so. In our distributed probing technique, every node in the network will probe the other nodes periodically to detect if any of them fail to perform the forwarding function. Subsequently, node state information can be utilized by the routing protocol to bypass those malicious nodes. Our experiments show that in a moderately changing network, the probing technique can detect most of the malicious nodes with a relatively low false positive rate. The packet delivery rate in the network can also be increased accordingly.

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School of Computer Science

Just, M. (Mike), Kranakis, E, & Wan, T. (Tao). (2003). Resisting malicious packet dropping in wireless ad hoc networks.