Bootstrapping Coalition MANETs

Designing a coalition network in chaotic environments (e.g. responding to a large catastrophe) is challenging because such systems cannot rely on availability of a fixed communication or security infrastructure. In such situations, a coalition may use Mobile Adhoc NETworks (MANETs) to communicate and to extend its operational reach and tempo. In this scenario, bootstrapping security and networking protocols requires that networking protocols cannot assume full existence of operational security protocols and vice-versa. In this report, we outline a realistic bounded resource adversary model and examine bootstrapping problems in the physical & link layer, the routing layer, and identity management with the goal of identifying new research challenges and novel solution methodologies.

In particular, (i) we examine secure link key set up protocols at the physical & link layer that neither use computation intensive PKI mechanisms nor assume pre-configured shared keys between nodes that belong to different coalition partners, (ii) identify new security issues owing to power saving intra-domain routing protocols that use sophisticated packet matching and forwarding; in a coalition setting we also examine inter-domain routing protocols that preserve autonomy and yet permits scalable network monitoring and misbehavior detection, (iii) examine identity management issues in MANETs and propose a novel wireless fingerprinting approach to condone a malicious node from spoofing and forging one or more identities on the network.

By: Mudhakar Srivatsa; Dakshi Agrawal; Shane Balfe

Published in: RC24588 in 2008


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