Vampire Attacks in Wireless Ad-hoc Networks

Vampire Attacks in Wireless Ad-hoc Networks

Surinder Khurana (Central University of Punjab, India) and Manmeet Singh (Central University of Punjab, India)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-5225-0501-3.ch019


The advancements made in the field of wireless networks have led the technology to the use of wireless ad-hoc networks in mainstream routines. The performance of these networks is heavily depends on routing protocols. Various routing protocols have been proposed. However, these protocols are prone to various type of attacks. This chapter discusses the vampire attack that is a risk to the energy resources of the wireless ad-hoc networks which drain the energy of the network by sending protocol compliant messages. In this chapter, we identify various categories of vampire attacks. This chapter discusses a secure sensor routing protocol designed to be invulnerable to various attacks but its topology discovery phase is vulnerable to the vampire attacks. This chapter also presents a modification to the protocol's topology discovery phase to detect the nodes performing vampire attacks and prevent the network from these attacks.
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Wireless Adhoc Netwroks

A Wireless Ad-hoc Network (WSN) consists of self-powered sensor nodes. These nodes are deployed in infrastructure less mode to collect the useful information from the environment and transmit it to sink node. Monitoring of environmental conditions such as rainfall, humidity, temperature, head of an active volcano, etc. and monitoring of friendly forces, opposing forces and various attacks, etc. in the military are some of the activities of sensor nodes (Maraiya et. al., 2011; Enami et. al., 2010). Sensor networks allow the nodes to communicate wirelessly, hence avoiding the expensive wired system. The wireless medium may include radio frequencies, infrared, optical medium. Sensor nodes consist of radios that can transmit, receive and can stay in idle and sleep modes. The radio should not be kept in idle mode completely in order to prevent power consumption. They should get shut down completely when they are idle (Jangra et. al., 2010). Sensor Networks provide the ability to operate devices such as actuators, motors and switches that control conditions and provide efficient and reliable communications.

Applications of Wireless Ad-Hoc Networks

  • Military communication and operations.

  • Home/office wireless networking.

  • Personal area networks (PAN), Personal networks (PN).

  • Sensor Networks: smart sensors and actuators embedded in consumer electronics, Data tracking of environmental conditions, animal movements, chemical/biological detection.


Energy Consumption In Wireless Ad-Hoc Networks

As shown in Figure 1 Sensor nodes carry out three main functions i.e. data acquisition, processing, and transmission. Out of these three functions data transmission consumes more energy as energy is wasted for transmitting and receiving the data packets. The sensor nodes will also play the role of a router: receive the data from other nodes and forwards the same towards base stations. The routing process that is part of data transmission also consumes a major portion of the energy. Data processing also consumes energy because of calculation operations but it is comparatively low. Acquisition consumes almost negligible energy (Kumar,, 2012).

Figure 1.

Functionalities of a sensor node that consume energy


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