Security in Ad Hoc Network and Computing Paradigms

Security in Ad Hoc Network and Computing Paradigms

Poonam Saini (PEC University of Technology, India) and Awadhesh Kumar Singh (National Institute of Technology Kurukshetra, India)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-5225-0105-3.ch005
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Resource sharing is the most attractive feature of distributed computing. Information is also a kind of resource. The portable computing devices and wireless networks are playing a dominant role in enhancing the information sharing and thus in the advent of many new variants of distributed computing viz. ubiquitous, grid, cloud, pervasive and mobile. However, the open and distributed nature of Mobile Ad Hoc Networks (MANETs), Vehicular Ad Hoc Networks (VANETs) and cloud computing systems, pose a threat to information that may be coupled from one user (or program) to another. The chapter illustrates the general characteristics of ad hoc networks and computing models that make obligatory to design secure protocols in such environments. Further, we present a generic classification of various threats and attacks. In the end, we describe the security in MANETs, VANETs and cloud computing. The chapter concludes with a description of tools that are popularly used to analyze and access the performance of various security protocols.
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The ad hoc network is a collection of wireless mobile nodes that dynamically self-organize in arbitrary and transient network topologies (Macker & Corsen, 1998; Weiser, 1999; Prasant, 2005). The nodes1 can thus be internetworked in areas without a pre-existing communication infrastructure or when the use of such infrastructure requires wireless extension. The ad hoc networks and computing models have the following typical features (Chlamtac, Conti & Liu, 2003; Basagni, Conti, Giordano & Stojmenovic, 2003; Macker & Corson, 2003; Corson, Maker & Cernicione 1999):

  • Continually changing topology and membership: Nodes continuously move in and out of the radio range of other nodes in the network, thereby, frequently reconfiguring the membership information to update the nodes.

  • Unreliable wireless links: Due to high mobility and dynamic nature of ad hoc protocols, the links between nodes in such networks are inconsistent. Therefore, the susceptibility to active/passive link attacks increase.

  • Lack of security features and poor scalability of security mechanisms: The security features implemented in statically configured protocols are not sufficient to take care of the requirements of an ad hoc environment. Moreover, with the growth of scalable networks, the security mechanism must be scalable too. Also, the physical protection of mobile hosts is generally poor.

  • Aggregation of data on cloud: Clouds have the capability to aggregate private and sensitive information about users in diverse data centers. Hence, the isolation and protection of customer data is an important concern.

  • Browser security failures: As the cloud users and administrators rely heavily on Web browsers, the browser security failures can lead to cloud security breaches.

  • Transparency: Customers need confidence and transparency about the performance of the cloud system and its management strategy.

Because of features listed above, ad hoc networks and computing paradigms are more vulnerable to security attacks as compared to traditional networks. Hence, security and privacy becomes necessary to safeguard the leakage of information in such hostile environment.


Security Attacks: A Background

There are many types of security attacks in an ad hoc and computing environment (Karpijoki, 2000; Lundberg, 2000; Hubaux, Buttyan & Capkun, 2001; Buttyan & Hubaux, 2002; Deng, Li & Agrawal, 2002; Ilyas, 2003). Primarily, the attacks can be categorized as following:

Key Terms in this Chapter

Message Authentication Code (MAC): A small piece of information used to authenticate a message and provide integrity and authenticity of that message.

Authentication: A way to confirm the truth of any attribute associated with any data or information that has been claimed as true by an entity.

Intrusion Detection: A mechanism to monitor network and system related activities for any malicious behavior and policy violation.

Non-Repudiation: An assurance that a node cannot deny its authenticity of signing or sending any message that they have originated.

Ad Hoc Network: A network of mobile nodes with temporary connection established for a specific purpose e.g. , transferring file from one node to another node.

Secure Routing: A way to handle errors and malicious activities that may cause routing stability issues in the design of routing protocols.

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