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Security in mobile ad hoc networks: Challenges and solutions


Security has become a primary concern in order to provide protected communication between mobile nodes in a hostile environment. Unlike the wireline networks, the unique characteristics of mobile ad hoc networks pose a number of nontrivial challenges to security design, such as open peer-to-peer network architecture, shared wireless medium, stringent resource constraints, and highly dynamic network topology. These challenges clearly make a case for building multifence security solutions that achieve both broad protection and desirable network performance. In this article we focus on the fundamental security problem of protecting the multihop network connectivity between mobile nodes in a MANET. We identify the security issues related to this problem, discuss the challenges to security design, and review the state-of-the-art security proposals that protect the MANET link- and network-layer operations of delivering packets over the multihop wireless channel. The complete security solution should span both layers, and encompass all three security components of prevention, detection, and reaction.

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