Assignment description: "Secure forwarding in personal ad-hoc networks"

Personal  networks (PNs) [1] are distributed personal environments where people interact with a variety of devices not only in their close vicinity but potentially anywhere. Personal networks are configured in an ad hoc fashion, as the opportunity and the demand arise, to support personal applications.  PNs consist of communicating clusters of personal devices, devices shared with other people, and even infrastructure-based systems. At the heart of a PN is a core Personal Area Network (PAN), which is physically associated with the owner of the PN. Unlike the present PANs that have a geographically limited coverage, the Personal Operating Space, PNs have an unrestricted geographical span, and incorporate devices into the personal environment regardless of their geographic location. The extension of the PAN with remote devices will physically be made via infrastructure-based networks, e.g., the Internet, an organization's intranet, or via ad hoc networks such as another persons PN, a vehicle area network or a home network. The figure below illustrates the concept.
The ad-hoc nature of PNs poses serious security challenges. From the point of view of security, ad-hoc networks are characterized by the lack of a clear line of defense. In ad-hoc networks each node functions as a router and forwards packets to other nodes. Wireless channels are however accessible to legitimate as well as to malicious users. The border between the inside network and the outside world is not always clear. Existing protocols for ad-hoc networks typically assume a trusted and cooperative environment. This assumption is not true in a hostile environment. If cooperation is assumed but not enforced, malicious attackers can easily disrupt the network operation by delivering incorrect routing information. In PNs, particular security threats are posed by: - The opportunity-driven incorporation of foreign devices into PNs. - The incorporation of remote own devices through third party networks. - The linking up or merging with other PNs and with infrastructure networks. Recently, secure routing in ad hoc networks has started to receive more attention (see as e.g., [2,3,4,5]). Secure routing can be split into two complementary problems: secure route discovery and secure data forwarding. This assignment addresses the problem of secure data forwarding. In the work reported in [6], secure data forwarding is based on the detection and reporting of misbehaving nodes together with keeping metrics reflecting the past behavior of other nodes. A different approach based on providing incentives to nodes that comply with the rules has been provides in [7]. Most of the reported research assume homogeneous nodes and without constrains in processing power or energy consumption. PNs however, do not mach that profile. PNs are constituted by nodes with many different capabilities and constraints. Some of the nodes may have very limited processing capabilities and be very restricted in power consumption. These differences require specific solutions for secure routing in PNs. The goal of this assignment is to investigate secure data forwarding solutions in the context of personal networks. The assignment consists of the following tasks:

Study of the concept of personal network

Review of basic principles of ad-hoc routing protocols

Study and analysis of the reported work on secure data forwarding

Adaptation of selected techniques for secure forwarding and definition of new methods that are suitable for personal networks

Validation and analysis of the proposed techniques (as e.g. using NS-2)

Analysis and refinement of the implemented algorithms

Writing a scientific report containing the results of this assignment.

[1]    I.G.M.M. Niemegeers  and S.M. Heemstra de Groot, “Research Issues in Ad-Hoc Distributed Personal Networking”, Journal of Personal and Wireless Communications, 2003
[2]    P. Papadimitratos and Z.J. Haas, “Securing Mobile Ad Hoc Networks, “The Handbook of Ad Hoc Wireless Networks, CRC Press 2003.
[3]    P. Papadimitratos and Z.J. Haas, “secure Routing for Mobile Ad hoc networks, Proceedings of the SCS Communication Networks and Distributed Systems Modeling and Simulation Conferences (CNDS 2003), San Antoniio, TX, January 27-31, 2002
[4]    J.-P. Hubaux, L. Buttyán, and  Srdan Capkun, “The Quest for Security in Mobile Ad Hoc Networks”, Proceedings of the ACM  Symposium on Mobile Ad Hoc networking and Computing (MobiHOC), 2001.
[5]    H. Yang, H. Luo, F. Ye, S. Lu, and L. Zhang, “Security in Mobile Ad Hoc Networks: Challenges and Solutions”, IEEE Wireless Communications,  February 2004, Vol.11, No. 1
[6]    S. Marti, T.J. Giuli, K.Lai, M.Baker, “Mitigating Routing Misbehavior in Mobile Ad-Hoc Networks”, 6th MobiCom, BA Massachusetts, August 2000.
[7]    L. Buttyan and J.P. Hubaux, “Enforcing Service Availability in Mobile Ad Hoc WANs, 1st MobiHoc BA, Massachusetts, August 2000.