John S. Baras


Attacks and Defenses Utilizing Cross-Layer Interactions in MANET

J. S. Baras and S. Radosavac

Workshop on Cross-Layer Issues in the Design of Tactical Mobile Ad Hoc Wireless Networks: Integration of Communication and Networking Functions to Support Optimal Information Management, Naval Research Laboratory, Washington, DC,  June 2–3, 2004

Full Text Paper ( .Pdf )



Cross-layer protocol design is one of the prevailing methodologies that have recently been adopted in networking research and leads to significant performance benefits. In this study,we assess the performance of cross-layer interaction and investigate its effects with regard to security and information assurance of mobile ad hoc wireless networks. Using attacksin realistic wireless networks as a prototype, we find that natural cross-layer interactions between physical, MAC and network layer protocols in MANET can turn out to be a weak point, causing various attacks and intrusions. However, by allowing a controlled synergy between layers affected by attacks, we facilitate timely detection of such attacks that are otherwise difficult to detect and may have devastating effects on network functionality and operation.

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