Date of Original Version

January 2008



Abstract or Description

Availability of service in many wireless networks depends on the ability for network users to establish and maintain communication channels using control messages from base stations and other users. An adversary with knowledge of the underlying communication protocol can mount an efficient denial of service attack by jamming the communication channels used to exchange control messages. The use of spread spectrum techniques can deter an external adversary from such control channel jamming attacks. However, malicious colluding insiders or an adversary who captures or compromises system users are not deterred by spread spectrum, as they know the required spreading sequences. For the case of internal adversaries, we propose a framework for control channel access schemes using the random assignment of cryptographic keys to hide the location of control channels. We propose and evaluate metrics to quantify the probabilistic availability of service under control channel jamming by malicious or compromised users and show that the availability of service degrades gracefully as the number of colluding insiders or compromised users increases. We propose an algorithm called GUIDE for the identification of compromised users in the system based on the set of control channels that are jammed. We evaluate the estimation error using the GUIDE algorithm in terms of the false alarm and miss rates in the identification problem. We discuss various design trade-offs between robustness to control channel jamming and resource expenditure.


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