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CHENG, YISecurity Mechanisms for Mobile Ad Hoc and Wireless Sensor Networks
PhD, University of Cincinnati, 2008, Engineering : Computer Science and Engineering

Wireless Ad Hoc Networks have emerged as an advanced networking paradigm based on collaborative efforts among multiple self-organized wireless communication devices. Without the requirement of a fixed infrastructure support, wireless ad hoc networks can be quickly deployed anywhere at any time when needed. The decentralized nature, minimal configuration and quick deployment of wireless ad hoc networks make them suitable for various applications, from disaster rescue, target tracking to military conflicts. Wireless ad hoc networks can be further categorized into mobile ad hoc networks (MANETs), wireless sensor networks (WSNs), and wireless mesh networks (WMNs) depending on their applications.

Security is a big challenge in wireless ad hoc networks due to the lack of any infrastructure support, dynamic network topology, shared radio medium, and resource-constrained wireless users. Most existing security mechanisms applied for the Internet or traditional wireless networks are neither applicable nor suitable for wireless ad hoc network environments. In MANETs, routing security is an extremely important issue, as the majority of the standard routing protocols assume non-hostile environments. Once deployed in a hostile environment and working in an unattended mode, existing routing protocols are vulnerable to various attacks. To address these concerns, we propose an anonymous secure routing protocol for MANETs in this dissertation, which can be incorporated with existing routing protocols and achieve enhanced routing security with minimum additional overheads.

In WSNs, key distribution and management is the core issue of any security approaches. Due to extremely resource-constrained sensor nodes and lack of any infrastructure support, traditional public-key based key distribution and management mechanisms are commonly considered as too expensive to be employed in WSNs. In this dissertation, we propose two efficient pairwise key pre-distribution and management mechanisms for both distributed and hierarchical large-scale WSNs, which enable establishing secure links between any two sensor nodes located within their communication range. As we know, sensing and communication are two fundamental characteristics of WSNs, and they cannot be addressed separately. Existing work on sensing coverage mainly focus on how to use the minimum number of sensors to achieve a required coverage, while security constraints are not sufficiently addressed. We propose an effective key distribution approach for randomly deployed WSNs, based on random graph theory and a realistic random key pre-distribution mechanism, in order to achieve both robust sensing coverage and secure connectivity simultaneously in a hostile deployment environment.


Dharma Agrawal (Committee Chair); Jerome Paul (Committee Member); Wen-Ben Jone (Committee Member); Chia-Yung Han (Committee Member); Ernest Hall (Committee Member)


Communication; Computer Science


Wireless Ad Hoc Network; Mobile Ad Hoc Network (MANET); Wireless Sensor Network (WSN); Routing; Security; Cryptography; Key Management; Distributed Wireless Network; Hierarchical Wireless Network; Sensing Coverage; Secured Connectivity

PhD, University of Cincinnati, 2004, Engineering : Electrical Engineering
Wireless ad hoc networks have emerged as a new information-transmission paradigm based on collaborative efforts of multiple self-organized mobile nodes. Without the support from any fixed infrastructure, this type of network provides an extremely flexible method for establishing communications in situations where geographical or terrestrial constraints demand totally distributed network system. While the inherent characteristics of an ad hoc network make it useful for many applications, they also bring in a lot of research challenges. One of the important issues is the security, since conventional security approaches adopted for traditional networks are not directly applicable to ad hoc networks. Secure ad hoc network is critical to the development of any real application of wireless ad hoc networks. In this dissertation, we attempt to develop an integrated and distributed security scheme with resource-awareness to enhance the security of ad hoc networks. Our scheme can be logically divided into two parts. An efficient intrusion prevention mechanism is developed to prevent the various attacks from external intruders, and an intrusion detection mechanism is used to provide a second line of defense for the misbehaviors of internal intruders. In the intrusion prevention mechanism, the identity-based cryptography, bivariate polynomial-based pairwise key and one way hash chain techniques are used to provide various security goals, such as availability, integrity, confidentiality, authentication and non-repudiation. Considering the self-organizing property of ad hoc networks, the intrusion detection is implemented in a distributed fashion, in which the behavior of each node is monitored and analyzed using a cooperative functions involved in the network. The intrusion detection scheme can detect both the internal and external attacks, but it pays more attention on the attacks that cannot handled by the intrusion prevention approach, and the result of intrusion detection would further guide and help the intrusion preventon mechanism to efficiently isolate the malicious nodes.The proposed security scheme can be incorporated into the existing routing protocols to enhance the overall security, at the same time keep a minimal overhead to the routing protocols.


Dr. Dharma Agrawal (Advisor)


wireless Ad Hoc Network; Network Security; Intrusion Detection