Off-sensing And Route Manipulation Attack: A Cross-Layer Attack In Cognitive Radio Based Wireless Mesh Networks

Moinul Hossain University of North Carolina at Charlotte, USA
Linda Jiang Xie University of North Carolina at Charlotte, USA


Cognitive Radio (CR) has garnered much attention in the last decade, while the security issues are not fully studied yet. Existing research on attacks and defenses in CR-based networks focuses mostly on individual network layers, whereas cross-layer attacks remain fortified against single-layer defenses. In this paper, we shed light on a new vulnerability in cross-layer routing protocols and demonstrate how a perpetrator can exploit this vulnerability to manipulate traffic flow around it. We propose this cross-layer attack in CR-based wireless mesh networks (CR-WMNs), which we call off-sensing and route manipulation (OS-RM) attack. In this cross-layer assault, off-sensing attack is launched at the lower layers as the point of attack but the final intention is to manipulate traffic flow around the perpetrator. We also introduce a learning strategy for a perpetrator, so that it can gather information from the collaboration with other network entities and capitalize this information into knowledge to accelerate its malice intentions. Simulation results show that this attack is far more detrimental than what we have experienced in the past and need to be addressed before commercialization of CR-based networks.

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