Security Issues in Link State Routing Protocols for MANETs

  • Gimer Cervera
  • Michel Barbeau
  • Joaquin Garcia-Alfaro
  • Evangelos Kranakis
Part of the Mathematics in Industry book series (MATHINDUSTRY, volume 18)


In link state routing networks, every node has to construct a topological map through the generation and exchange of routing information. Nevertheless, if a node misbehaves then the connectivity in the network is compromised. The proactive Optimized Link State Routing (OLSR) protocol has been designed exclusively for Mobile Ad Hoc Networks (MANETs). The core of the protocol is the selection of Multipoint Relays (MPRs) as an improved flooding mechanism for distributing link state information. This mechanism limits the size and number of control traffic messages. As for several other routing protocols for MANETs, OLSR does not include security measures in its original design. Besides, OLSR has been extended to address a number of problems in MANETs. For example, Hierarchical OLSR (HOLSR) has been proposed to address scalability and Multipath OLSR (MP-OLSR) to address fault tolerance. However, these OLSR extensions can be affected either by inheriting or adding new security threats. In this chapter, we present a review of security issues and countermeasures in link state routing protocols for MANETs.


Cluster Head Intrusion Detection System Malicious Node Optimize Link State Routing Multiple Description Code 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.



The authors graciously acknowledge the financial support received from the following organizations: Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada (NSERC), Mathematics of Information Technology and Complex Systems (MITACS), Institut Telecom, Spanish Ministry of Science and Innovation (grants TSI2007-65406-C03-03 E-AEGIS and CONSOLIDER-INGENIO CSD2007-00004 ARES), National Council of Science and Technology (CONACYT), and Ministry of Education of Mexico (SEP, Program for Academic Improvement).


  1. 1.
    R. Abdellaoui and J.-M. Robert. SU-OLSR: A new solution to thwart attacks against the OLSR protocol. In 4th Conference on Security in Network Architectures and Information Systems (SAR-SSI), pages 239–245, Luchon, France, June 22–26, 2009.Google Scholar
  2. 2.
    C. Adjih, T. Clausen, A. Laouiti, P. Muhlethaler, and D. Raffo. Securing the OLSR routing protocol with or without compromised nodes in the network. Technical Report, INRIA RR-5494, HIPERCOM project, INRIA Rocquencourt, February 2005.Google Scholar
  3. 3.
    A. Adnane, R.T. de Sousa Jr., C. Bidan, and L. Me. Autonomic trust reasoning enables misbehavior detection in OLSR. In SAC’08: Proceedings of the 2008 ACM symposium on Applied computing, pages 2006–2013, New York, NY, USA, 2008. ACM.Google Scholar
  4. 4.
    E. Baccelli. OLSR scaling with hierarchical routing and dynamic tree clustering. In IASTED International Conference on Networks and Communication Systems (NCS), Chiang Mai, Thailand, March 2006.Google Scholar
  5. 5.
    E. Baccelli. OLSR trees: A simple clustering mechanism for OLSR. In Challenges in Ad Hoc Networking, IFIP International Federation for Information Processing, vol. 197, pages 265–274, 2006.Google Scholar
  6. 6.
    H. Badis and K. Al Agha. QOLSR multi-path routing for mobile ad hoc networks based on multiple metrics: bandwidth and delay. In Vehicular Technology Conference, 2004. VTC 2004-Spring. 2004 IEEE 59th, vol. 4, pages 2181–2184, May 2004.Google Scholar
  7. 7.
    G. Cervera, M. Barbeau, J. Garcia-Alfaro, and E. Kranakis. Mitigation of topology control attacks in OLSR networks. In 5th International Conference on Risks and Security of Internet and Systems (CRISIS 2010), Jean-Marc Robert, editor, pages 81–88, Montreal, Canada, October 10–13, 2010.Google Scholar
  8. 8.
    G. Cervera, M. Barbeau, J. Garcia-Alfaro, and E. Kranakis. Mitigation of flooding disruption attacks in HOLSR networks. In 9th Annual Conference on Communication Networks and Services Research Conference (CNSR 2011), pages 167–174, 10.1109/CNSR.2011.32. Ottawa, ON, Canada, May 2–5 2011.Google Scholar
  9. 9.
    G. Cervera, M. Barbeau, J. Garcia-Alfaro, and E. Kranakis. Preventing the Cluster Formation Attack Against the Hierarchical OLSR Protocol: Invited Talk. In proceedings of 4th Canada-France MITACS Workshop on Foundations & Practice of Security (FPS 2011), Paris, France, May 12–13 2011. Springer LNCS.Google Scholar
  10. 10.
    T. Clausen and P. Jacquet. Optimized link state routing protocol (OLSR), RFC3626. IETF Internet Draft, Available via, October 2003.
  11. 11.
    T. Clausen, C. Dearlove and P. Jacquet. Optimized link state routing protocol version 2 (OLSRv2), RFC3666 ,Work in progress. Project Hipercom, INRIA, Internet Draft,, November 2011.
  12. 12.
    T. Clausen and C. Dearlove. RFC5497: Representing Multi-Value Time in Mobile Ad Hoc Networks (MANETs), std. track,
  13. 13.
    T. Clausen, C. Dearlove, and B. Adamson. RFC5148: Jitter Considerations in Mobile Ad Hoc Networks (MANETs), informational,
  14. 14.
    T. Clausen, C. Dearlove, and J. Dean. I-D: MANET Neighborhood Discovery Protocol (NHDP), work in progress.Google Scholar
  15. 15.
    T. Clausen, C. Dearlove, J. Dean, and C. Adjih. RFC5444: Generalized mobile ad hoc network (manet) packet/message format, std. track,
  16. 16.
    T. Clausen and U. Herberg. Vulnerability analysis of the optimized link state routing protocol version 2 (OLSRv2). In Wireless Communications, Networking and Information Security (WCNIS), 2010 IEEE International Conference on, pages 628–633, 2010.Google Scholar
  17. 17.
    T. Clausen, U. Herberg, and J. Milan. Digital signatures for admittance control in the optimized link state routing protocol version 2. Research Report RR-7216, INRIA, February 2010.Google Scholar
  18. 18.
    F. Cuppens, N. Cuppens-Boulahia, S. Nuon, and T. Ramard. Property based intrusion detection to secure OLSR. In ICWMC ’07: Proceedings of the Third International Conference on Wireless and Mobile Communications, pages 52–59, Washington, DC, USA, 2007. IEEE Computer Society.Google Scholar
  19. 19.
    U. Herberg and T. Clausen. Security Issues in the Optimized Link State Routing Protocol version 2 (OLSRv2). International Journal of Network Security & Its Applications (IJNSA), vol. 2(2), 2010.Google Scholar
  20. 20.
    F. Hong, L. Hong, and C. Fu. Secure OLSR. International Conference on Advanced Information Networking and Applications (AINA 2005), vol. 1, pages 713–718, Taipei, Taiwan, March 2005.Google Scholar
  21. 21.
    P. Jacquet, P. Muhlethaler, T. Clausen, A. Laouiti, A. Qayyum, and L. Viennot. Optimized link state routing protocol for ad hoc networks. In IEEE International Multi Topic Conference, 2001. IEEE INMIC 2001. Technology for the 21st Century. Proceedings, pages 62–68. Lahore University of Management Sciences, Pakistan, December 2001.Google Scholar
  22. 22.
    A. R. Khakpour, M. Laurent-Maknavicius, and H. Chaouchi. WATCHMAN: An overlay distributed AAA architecture for mobile ad hoc networks. In ARES ’08: Proceedings of the 2008 Third International Conference on Availability, Reliability and Security, pages 144–152, Washington, DC, USA, March 2008. IEEE Computer Society.Google Scholar
  23. 23.
    M. Kun, Y. Jingdong, and R. Zhi. The research and simulation of multipath-OLSR for mobile ad hoc network. In Communications and Information Technology, 2005. ISCIT 2005. IEEE International Symposium on, vol. 1, pages 540–543, October 2005.Google Scholar
  24. 24.
    J. Moy. Open Shortest Path First (OSPF) version 2, RFC2328. IETF Internet Draft,, April 1998.
  25. 25.
    D. Raffo. Security schemes for the OLSR protocol for ad hoc networks. PhD thesis, LUniversité Paris 6 - Pierre et Marie Curie, INRIA Roquencourt, September 2005.Google Scholar
  26. 26.
    D. Raffo, C. Adjih, T. Clausen, and P. Muhlethaler. Securing OLSR using node locations. In Proceedings of 2005 European Wireless (EW 2005), pages 437–443, Nicosia, Cyprus, April 10–13 2005.Google Scholar
  27. 27.
    F.J. Ros and P.M. Ruiz. Cluster-based OLSR extensions to reduce control overhead in mobile ad hoc networks. In Proceedings of the 2007 international conference on Wireless communications and mobile computing, pages 202–207. ACM, 2007.Google Scholar
  28. 28.
    A. Srinivas and E. Modiano. Minimum energy disjoint path routing in wireless ad-hoc networks. In Proceedings of the 9th annual international conference on Mobile computing and networking (MobiCom 03), pages 122–133, New York, NY, USA, 2003. ACM.Google Scholar
  29. 29.
    J.P. Vilela and J. Barros. A feedback reputation mechanism to secure the optimized link state routing protocol. In IEEE Communications International Conference on Security and Privacy for Emerging Areas in Communication Networks (Securecomm 2007). Los Alamitos (2007), pages 294–303, 2007.Google Scholar
  30. 30.
    L. Villasenor-Gonzalez, Y. Ge, and L. Lamont. HOLSR: A hierarchical proactive routing mechanism for mobile ad hoc networks. IEEE Communications Magazine, vol. 43(7), pages 118–125, July 2005.Google Scholar
  31. 31.
    M. Voorhaen, E. Van de Velde, and C. Blondia. MORHE: A transparent multi-level routing scheme for ad hoc networks. In Challenges in Ad Hoc Networking, K. Al Agha, I. Guérin Lassous, and G. Pujolle, editors, In IFIP International Federation for Information Processing, vol. 197, pages 139–148. Springer Boston, 2006.Google Scholar
  32. 32.
    B. Wu, J. Chen, J. Wu, and M. Cardei. A survey of attacks and countermeasures in mobile ad hoc networks. In Wireless Network Security, Signals and Communication Technology, Y. Xiao and X. S. Shen and D. Du, editors, pages 103–135. Springer US, 2007.Google Scholar
  33. 33.
    J. Yi, E. Cizeron, S. Hamma, and B. Parrein. Simulation and performance analysis of MP-OLSR for mobile ad hoc networks. In IEEE Wireless Communications and Networking Conference, IEEE WCNC, Las Vegas, March 31-April 3 2008.Google Scholar
  34. 34.
    J. Yi, E. Cizeron, S. Hamma, B. Parrein, and P. Lesage. Implementation of multipath and multiple description coding in OLSR. CoRR, abs/0902.4781, 2009.Google Scholar
  35. 35.
    J. Yi, S. David, H. Adnane, B. Parrein, and X. Lecourtier. Multipath OLSR: Simulation and Testbed. In 5th OLSR Interop/Workshop, Vienna Autriche, 10 2009.Google Scholar
  36. 36.
    J. Yi, A. Adnane, S. David, and B. Parrein. Multipath optimized link state routing for mobile ad hoc networks. In Ad Hoc Networks, vol. 9(1), pages 28–47, 2011.Google Scholar
  37. 37.
    X. Zhou, Y. Lu, and B. Xi. A novel routing protocol for ad hoc sensor networks using multiple disjoint paths. In Broadband Networks, 2005. BroadNets 2005. 2nd International Conference on, vol. 2, pages 944–948, Boston, MA, October 2005.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  • Gimer Cervera
    • 1
  • Michel Barbeau
    • 1
  • Joaquin Garcia-Alfaro
    • 2
  • Evangelos Kranakis
    • 1
  1. 1.School of Computer ScienceCarleton UniversityOttawaCanada
  2. 2.Institut Telecom, Telecom Bretagne Cesson-SevigneCesson-SevigneFrance

Personalised recommendations