Energy-efficient link-layer jamming attacks against wireless sensor network MAC protocols

L.F.W. van Hoesel, Y.W. Law, J.M. Doumen, Pieter H. Hartel, Paul J.M. Havinga

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Abstract

A typical wireless sensor node has little protection against radio jamming. The situation becomes worse if energy-efficient jamming can be achieved by exploiting knowledge of the data link layer. Encrypting the packets may help to prevent the jammer from taking actions based on the content of the packets, but the temporal arrangement of the packets induced by the nature of the protocol might unravel patterns that the jammer can take advantage of, even when the packets are encrypted. By looking at the packet interarrival times in three representative MAC protocols, S-MAC, LMAC and B-MAC, we derive several jamming attacks that allow the jammer to jam S-MAC, LMAC and B-MAC energy-efficiently. The jamming attacks are based on realistic assumptions. The algorithms are described in detail and simulated. The effectiveness and efficiency of the attacks are examined. In addition, we validate our simulation model by comparing its results with measurements obtained from implementation on sensor node prototypes. We show that it takes little effort to implement such effective jammers, making them a realistic treat. Careful analysis of other protocols belonging to the respective categories of S-MAC, LMAC and B-MAC reveals that those protocols are, to some extent, also susceptible to our attacks. The result of this investigation provides new insights into the security considerations of MAC protocols.
Original languageUndefined
Place of PublicationEnschede
PublisherCentre for Telematics and Information Technology (CTIT)
Number of pages34
Publication statusPublished - Apr 2006

Publication series

NameCTIT technical reports series
PublisherUniversity of Twente, Centre for Telematica and Information Technology (CTIT)
No.06-18
ISSN (Print)1381-3625

Keywords

  • CAES-PS: Pervasive Systems
  • EWI-2691
  • IR-57039
  • SCS-Cybersecurity
  • METIS-237389

Cite this

van Hoesel, L. F. W., Law, Y. W., Doumen, J. M., Hartel, P. H., & Havinga, P. J. M. (2006). Energy-efficient link-layer jamming attacks against wireless sensor network MAC protocols. (CTIT technical reports series; No. 06-18). Enschede: Centre for Telematics and Information Technology (CTIT).
van Hoesel, L.F.W. ; Law, Y.W. ; Doumen, J.M. ; Hartel, Pieter H. ; Havinga, Paul J.M. / Energy-efficient link-layer jamming attacks against wireless sensor network MAC protocols. Enschede : Centre for Telematics and Information Technology (CTIT), 2006. 34 p. (CTIT technical reports series; 06-18).
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van Hoesel, LFW, Law, YW, Doumen, JM, Hartel, PH & Havinga, PJM 2006, Energy-efficient link-layer jamming attacks against wireless sensor network MAC protocols. CTIT technical reports series, no. 06-18, Centre for Telematics and Information Technology (CTIT), Enschede.

Energy-efficient link-layer jamming attacks against wireless sensor network MAC protocols. / van Hoesel, L.F.W.; Law, Y.W.; Doumen, J.M.; Hartel, Pieter H.; Havinga, Paul J.M.

Enschede : Centre for Telematics and Information Technology (CTIT), 2006. 34 p. (CTIT technical reports series; No. 06-18).

Research output: Book/ReportReportProfessional

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T1 - Energy-efficient link-layer jamming attacks against wireless sensor network MAC protocols

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AU - Havinga, Paul J.M.

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N2 - A typical wireless sensor node has little protection against radio jamming. The situation becomes worse if energy-efficient jamming can be achieved by exploiting knowledge of the data link layer. Encrypting the packets may help to prevent the jammer from taking actions based on the content of the packets, but the temporal arrangement of the packets induced by the nature of the protocol might unravel patterns that the jammer can take advantage of, even when the packets are encrypted. By looking at the packet interarrival times in three representative MAC protocols, S-MAC, LMAC and B-MAC, we derive several jamming attacks that allow the jammer to jam S-MAC, LMAC and B-MAC energy-efficiently. The jamming attacks are based on realistic assumptions. The algorithms are described in detail and simulated. The effectiveness and efficiency of the attacks are examined. In addition, we validate our simulation model by comparing its results with measurements obtained from implementation on sensor node prototypes. We show that it takes little effort to implement such effective jammers, making them a realistic treat. Careful analysis of other protocols belonging to the respective categories of S-MAC, LMAC and B-MAC reveals that those protocols are, to some extent, also susceptible to our attacks. The result of this investigation provides new insights into the security considerations of MAC protocols.

AB - A typical wireless sensor node has little protection against radio jamming. The situation becomes worse if energy-efficient jamming can be achieved by exploiting knowledge of the data link layer. Encrypting the packets may help to prevent the jammer from taking actions based on the content of the packets, but the temporal arrangement of the packets induced by the nature of the protocol might unravel patterns that the jammer can take advantage of, even when the packets are encrypted. By looking at the packet interarrival times in three representative MAC protocols, S-MAC, LMAC and B-MAC, we derive several jamming attacks that allow the jammer to jam S-MAC, LMAC and B-MAC energy-efficiently. The jamming attacks are based on realistic assumptions. The algorithms are described in detail and simulated. The effectiveness and efficiency of the attacks are examined. In addition, we validate our simulation model by comparing its results with measurements obtained from implementation on sensor node prototypes. We show that it takes little effort to implement such effective jammers, making them a realistic treat. Careful analysis of other protocols belonging to the respective categories of S-MAC, LMAC and B-MAC reveals that those protocols are, to some extent, also susceptible to our attacks. The result of this investigation provides new insights into the security considerations of MAC protocols.

KW - CAES-PS: Pervasive Systems

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KW - METIS-237389

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BT - Energy-efficient link-layer jamming attacks against wireless sensor network MAC protocols

PB - Centre for Telematics and Information Technology (CTIT)

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van Hoesel LFW, Law YW, Doumen JM, Hartel PH, Havinga PJM. Energy-efficient link-layer jamming attacks against wireless sensor network MAC protocols. Enschede: Centre for Telematics and Information Technology (CTIT), 2006. 34 p. (CTIT technical reports series; 06-18).