Security in Delay Tolerant Networks
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Delay- and Disruption-tolerant wireless networks (DTN), or opportunistic networks, represent a class of networks where continuous end-to-end connectivity may not be possible. DTN is a well recognized area in networking research and has attracted extensive attentions from both network designers and application developers. Applications of this emergent communication paradigm are wide ranging and include sensor networks using scheduled intermittent connectivity, vehicular DTNs for dissemination of location-dependent information (e.g., local ads, traffic reports, parking information, etc.), pocket-switched networks to allow humans to communicate without network infrastructure, and underwater acoustic networks with moderate delays and frequent interruptions due to environmental factors, etc. Security is one of the main barriers to wide-scale deployment of DTNs, but has gained little attention so far. On the one hand, similar to traditional mobile ad hoc networks, the open channel and multi-hop transmission have made DTNs vulnerable to various security threats, such as message modification/injection attack or unauthorized access and utilization of DTN resources. On the other hand, the unique security characteristics of DTNs including: long round-trip delay, frequent disconnectivity, fragmentation, opportunistic routing as well as limited computational and storage capability, make the existing security protocols designed for the conventional ad hoc networks unsuitable for DTNs. Therefore, a series of new security protocols are highly desired to meet stringent security and efficiency requirements for securing DTNs. In this research, we focus on three fundamental security issues in DTNs: efficient DTN message (or bundle) authentication, which is a critical security service for DTN security; incentive issue, which targets at stimulating selfish nodes to forward data for others; and certificate revocation issue, which is an important part of public key management and serves the foundation of any DTN security protocols. We have made the following contributions: First of all, the unique ``store-carry-and-forward'' transmission characteristic of DTNs implies that bundles from distinct/common senders may opportunistically be buffered at some common intermediate nodes. Such a ``buffering'' characteristic distinguishes DTN from any other traditional wireless networks, for which intermediate cache is not supported. To exploit such buffering opportunities, we propose an Opportunistic Batch Bundle Authentication Scheme (OBBA) to dramatically reduce the bundle authentication cost by seamlessly integrating identity-based batch signatures and Merkle tree techniques. Secondly, we propose a secure multi-layer credit based incentive scheme to stimulate bundle forwarding cooperation among DTNs nodes. The proposed scheme can be implemented in a fully distributed manner to thwart various attacks without relying on any tamper-proof hardware. In addition, we introduce several efficiency-optimization techniques to improve the overall efficiency by exploiting the unique characteristics of DTNs. Lastly, we propose a storage-efficient public key certificate validation method. Our proposed scheme exploits the opportunistic propagation to transmit Certificate Revocation List (CRL) list while taking advantage of bloom filter technique to reduce the required buffer size. We also discuss how to take advantage of cooperative checking to minimize false positive rate and storage consumption. For each research issue, detailed simulation results in terms of computational time, transmission overhead and power consumption, are given to validate the efficiency and effectiveness of the proposed security solutions.