A Survey on Attacks and Defences on LoRaWAN Gateways

A Survey on Attacks and Defences on LoRaWAN Gateways

Olof Magnusson (Gothenburg University, Sweden), Rikard Teodorsson (Chalmers University of Technology, Sweden), Joakim Wennerberg (Chalmers University of Technology, Sweden) and Stig Arne Knoph (Chalmers University of Technology, Sweden)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-7998-7468-3.ch002
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LoRaWAN (long-range wide-area network) is an emerging technology for the connection of internet of things (IoT) devices to the internet and can as such be an important part of decision support systems. In this technology, IoT devices are connected to the internet through gateways by using long-range radio signals. However, because LoRaWAN is an open network, anyone has the ability to connect an end device or set up a gateway. Thus, it is important that gateways are designed in such a way that their ability to be used maliciously is limited. This chapter covers relevant attacks against gateways and potential countermeasures against them. A number of different attacks were found in literature, including radio jamming, eavesdropping, replay attacks, and attacks against the implementation of what is called beacons in LoRaWAN. Countermeasures against these attacks are discussed, and a suggestion to improve the security of LoRaWAN is also included.
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Although several research institutions have analysed the LoRaWaN protocol regarding security, there is limited research focusing on building a systematic review of the potential security issues with the LoRaWAN gateways.

Key Terms in this Chapter

Authentication: The act of proving or verifying that, for example, a system is who it says it is.

Public-Key Cryptography: Used in a cryptographic system where each sender/receiver has a public and a private key pair. The public key is public to everyone and the private key is known only to the holder of it. A sender can, for example, use the public key of the recipient to encrypt the data transmission and the receiver uses his own private key to decrypt it.

End-Device: A source device that connects to the LoRaWAN network and sends and receives data to support IoT applications.

Malicious: A malicious gateway has intent to cause harm or disturbance in the network traffic or operation of end-devices.

Beacon Message: A time-periodic message sent out from a gateway to synchronise all end-devices in its range.

Packet: Data in a network transmission. A packet contains a header (routing information) and a payload.

Session Key: A symmetric encryption/decryption key used for a shorter period of time during a communication session. Switched out after a period of time or after a certain number of messages.

Gateway: The connection point of an end-device to the LoRaWAN network. The gateway transmits, broadcasts and relays data.

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