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Security Issues Pertaining to Ad-Hoc Networks - A Survey

Keywords: MANET , Security issues , Routing

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A mobile ad-hoc network (MANET) is a self-configuring network of mobile routers (and associated hosts) connected by wireless links—the union of which form an arbitrary topology. The routers are free to move randomly and organize themselves arbitrarily; thus, the network's wireless topology may change rapidly and unpredictably. MANETs are usually set up in situations of emergency for temporaryoperations or simply if there are no resources to set up elaborate networks. These types of networks operate in the absence of any fixed infrastructure, which makes them easy to deploy, at the same time however, due to the absence of any fixed infrastructure, it becomes difficult to make use of the existing routing techniques for network services, and this poses a number of challenges in ensuring the security of the communication, something that is not easily done as many of the demands of network security conflict with thedemands of mobile networks, mainly due to the nature of the mobile devices (e.g. low power consumption, low processing load). Many of the ad hoc routing protocols that address security issues rely on implicit trust relationships to route packets among participating nodes. Besides the general security objectives like authentication,confidentiality, integrity, availability and non-repudiation, the ad hoc routing protocols should also address location confidentiality, cooperation fairness and absence of traffic diversion. In this paper we attempt to analyze threats faced by the ad hoc network environment and provide a classification of the various security mechanisms. We analyzed the respective strengths and vulnerabilities of the existing routing protocols and suggest a broad and comprehensive framework that can provide a tangible solution.


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