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Security in Wireless Ad Hoc and Sensor Networks by Chunming Rong, Erdal Cayirci

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1

Introduction

Although the wireless medium has limited spectrum and additional constraints when compared to guided media, it provides the only means of mobile communication. In addition, more effective usage of the limited spectrum and advanced physical/data link layer protocols enable broadband communications and integrated services over the limited wireless spectrum. Moreover, random and rapid deployment of a large number of tetherless nodes is possible through wireless ad hoc networking, which is a technology with a wide range of applications such as tactical communications, disaster relief operations and temporary networking in areas that are not densely populated. As a result, the use of wireless ad hoc networking has become pervasive. However, wireless ad hoc networking also introduces additional security challenges on top of those that exist for tethered networking:

  • the wireless broadcast medium is easier to tap than guided media;
  • the wireless medium has limited capacity and therefore requires more efficient schemes with less overhead;
  • the self-forming, self-organization and self-healing algorithms required for ad hoc networking, and the schemes that tackle challenges such as hidden and exposed terminals, may be targeted to design sophisticated security attacks;
  • the wireless medium is more susceptible to jamming and other denial-of-service attacks.

Wireless sensor and actuator networks (WSANs) are based on the random deployment of a large number of tiny sensor nodes and ...

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