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Securing Wireless Mesh Networks. Authors: Naouel Ben Salem and Jean-Pierre Hubaux. Presentation By : Stacey Askey Vinay Jude Pavan Pujar. What are Wireless Mesh Networks. Similar to Wi-Fi Networks

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Securing wireless mesh networks

Securing Wireless Mesh Networks

Authors: Naouel Ben Salem and Jean-Pierre Hubaux.

Presentation By :

Stacey Askey

Vinay Jude

Pavan Pujar

What are wireless mesh networks
What areWireless Mesh Networks

  • Similar to Wi-Fi Networks

    • Instead of multiple wireless hotspots (WHSs), WMNs use one WHS and several transit access points (TAPs).

  • Clients connect to TAPs, which connect wirelessly to the WHS either directly or multihopping over other TAPs.


  • TAPs take place of routers, but decisions need to be made about which capabilities need to be provided on each TAP and which only the WHS needs to provide.

    • User/TAP authentication

    • Message Integrity

    • Encryption

  • WMNs provide “fast, easy and inexpensive network deployment”.

Advantages disadvantages of wmns
Advantages/Disadvantages of WMNs


  • The TAPs themselves are cheaper than WHSs.

  • Since TAPs communicate by wireless signals, they do not require cabling to be run to add new TAPs.

    • Allows for rapid deployment of temporary networks.


  • TAPs are often placed in physically unprotected locations

    • Lack of security guarantees.

    • Communications are wireless and therefore susceptible to all the vulnerabilities of wireless transmissions.

Three security challenges posed by wmn s
Three Security Challenges Posed by WMNs

  • Securing the Routing Mechanism

    • WMNs rely on multi-hop transmissions over a predominantly wireless network; the routing protocol is very important and a tempting target.

  • Detection of Corrupt TAPs

    • The TAPs are likely to be stored in unprotected locations, so they may be easily accessed by malicious entities and can be corrupted or stolen.

  • Providing Fairness

    • The protocol needs to be designed to distribute bandwidth between the TAPs in a manner fair to the users to prevent bandwidth starvation of devices far from the WHS.


  • There are several ways in which bandwidth can be distributed among TAPs

    • What may be the best solution is to distribute bandwidth proportional to the number of clients using a TAP.

Corrupt tap s
Corrupt TAPs

  • Wireless Mesh Networks use low cost devices.

  • Cannot be protected against Removal, Tampering or Replication.

  • Damage caused by Physical Tampering or Remote Access.

  • WHS has important cryptographic data and the assumption is that it is protected.

The four attacks
The Four Attacks

  • Four main types of attacks are possible.

  • The first attack is removal and replacement of the device.

  • This attack is detected by WHS or neighbor TAP because of change in topologyof the network.

Access internal state
Access Internal State

  • The second type of attack is to access the internal state of the device .

  • This type of attack is a passive attack and is difficult to detect.

  • In this attack the attacker need not disconnect the device from WMN.

  • Even the disconnection cannot be detected.

  • The effect of the attack can be reduced by changing the TAP data at regular intervals.

Modify internal state
Modify Internal State

  • The third type of attack is where the attacker modifies the internal state of the TAP.

  • In this type of attack, the attacker can modify the routing algorithm.

  • This type attack also changes the topology.

  • It can also be detected by WHS.

Clone tap
Clone TAP

  • The fourth type of attack is of cloning the TAP.

  • In this type of attack the attacker is able to create a replica of the TAP and place this in a strategic location in WMN.

  • It also allows the attacker to inject some false data or to disconnect some parts of network.

  • It can damage the routing mechanisms but can be detected.

Jamming and counter measure
Jamming and Counter-Measure

  • The first diagram shows the attack by the adversary.

  • The second diagram shows the protection measure for this attack after detection.

Attacks on multihop routing in wmn
Attacks on Multihop Routing in WMN

  • Rational Attack vs Malicious Attack.

  • A Rational Attack involves misbehaving in terms of Price and QoS.

  • For instance, the routes between WHS and TAPs are artificially increased.

  • A malicious attack involves partitioning the network or isolating the TAPs.

  • Network Traffic is routed through a compromised TAP.

Securing multihop routing
Securing Multihop Routing

  • Using Secure Routing Protocols to prevent attacks against routing messages.

  • If the state of one or more TAPs is modified , the attack can be detected and the network is reconfigured.

  • DoS attacks can be prevented by identifying the source of disturbance and disabling it.

Generalized wmns
Generalized WMNs

  • Vehicular Networks is special case of WMNs where TAPs are represented by cars and roadside WHSs.

  • Involves applications such as reporting events(accidents),cooperative driving, payment services and location based services.

  • Multi-Operator WMNs include several operators and various devices: mobile phones, laptops, base stations and APs.


  • WMNs extend the coverage of WHSs in an inexpensive manner.

  • The three fundamental security issues that have to be addressed in WMNs are:

    • Detection of corrupt TAPs.

    • Defining and using a secure routing protocol.

    • Defining and implementing a proper fairness metric.


  • Mesh Networks Security Ben Salem, N.; Hubaux, J-P, "Securing wireless mesh networks ,“ Wireless Communications, IEEE, vol.13, no.2, pp.50,55, April 2006.