Analysis of communication vulnerability through misbehavior in wireless and sensor networks

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Conference Proceeding

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In this paper, we present a novel formulation of the problem of energy misbehavior and develop an analytical framework for quantifying its impact on other nodes. Specifically, we formulate two versions of the power control problem for wireless networks with latency constraints arising from duty cycle allocations In the first version, strategic power optimization, wireless nodes are modeled as rational agents in a power game, who strategically adjust their powers to minimize their own energy. In the other version, joint power optimization, wireless nodes jointly minimize the aggregate energy expenditure. Our analysis of these models yields insights into the different energy outcomes of strategic versus joint power optimization. We show that joint power optimization comes with both advantages and disadvantages. One surprising advantage is that it can (sometimes) be energy-dominant, i.e the energy expenditure of all nodes is lower than if they were using strategic optimization. We then develop a model for characterizing energy misbehavior and show that joint optimization is disadvantageous because it is impossible to prevent misbehavior under any channel quality and load constraints, whereas strategic optimization is more resilient. We provide sufficient conditions under which misbehavior can be prevented under a strategic optimization regime. Our analytical results reveal optimal strategies for attacking nodes in an enemy network through energy depletion and help develop effective defense mechanisms for protecting our own wireless network against energy attacks by an intelligent adversary.

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Proceedings - IEEE Military Communications Conference MILCOM

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