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Design of efficient lightweight strategies to combat DoS attack in delay tolerant network routing

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Delay tolerant networks (DTNs) are characterized by delay and intermittent connectivity. Satisfactory network functioning in a DTN relies heavily on co-ordination among participating nodes. However, in practice, such co-ordination cannot be taken for granted due to possible misbehaviour by relay nodes. Routing in a DTN is, therefore, vulnerable to various attacks, which adversely affect network performance. Several strategies have been proposed in the literature to alleviate such vulnerabilities—they vary widely in terms of throughput, detection time, overhead etc. One key challenge is to arrive at a tradeoff between detection time and overhead. We observe that the existing table-based reactive strategies to combat Denial-of-service (DoS) attacks in DTN suffer from two major drawbacks: high overhead and slow detection. In this paper, we propose three secure, light-weight and time-efficient routing algorithms for detecting DoS attacks (Blackhole and Grey-hole attacks) in the Spray & Focus routing protocol. The proposed algorithms are based on use of a small fraction of privileged (trusted) nodes. The first strategy, called TN, outperforms the existing table-based strategy with 20–30 % lesser detection time, 20–25 % higher malicious node detection and negligible overhead. The other two strategies, CTN_MI and CTN_RF explore the novel idea that trusted nodes are able to utilize each others’ information/experience using their long range connectivity as and when available. Simulations performed using an enhanced ONE simulator reveals that investing in enabling connectivity among trusted nodes (as in CTN_RF) can have significant performance benefits.

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Correspondence to Sujoy Saha.

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Saha, S., Nandi, S., Verma, R. et al. Design of efficient lightweight strategies to combat DoS attack in delay tolerant network routing. Wireless Netw 24, 173–194 (2018).

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