Ioan Raicu

Illinois Institute of Technology

Argonne National Laboratory

Defending against Pollution Attacks in Network Coding Systems for Wireless Mesh Networks

Cristina Nita-Rotaru
Computer Science Department
Purdue University
Stuart Building 204
Monday, February 14th, 2011
11:30AM - 12:30PM

Abstract: In recent years, network coding has emerged as a new communication paradigm that can significantly improve the efficiency of network protocols by requiring intermediate nodes to mix packets before forwarding them. Several real-world systems have been proposed to leverage network coding in wireless networks. Although the theoretical foundations of network coding are well understood, a real-world system needs to solve a plethora of practical aspects before network coding can meet its promised potential. These practical design choices expose network coding systems to a wide range of attacks. In this talk we first give an overview of the challenges faced in addressing the threats faced by network coding systems. The we focus on addressing the most severe and generic attack against network coding systems, known as packet pollution. We show that existing cryptographic mechanisms that were proposed to solve the problem have a prohibitive cost that makes them impractical in wireless mesh networks. We propose the first practical defense mechanisms to pollution attacks in network coding for wireless mesh networks. The experimental results show that the proposed mechanisms can effectively filter out polluted packets and quickly identify and isolate attacker nodes while incurring small computation and bandwidth overhead.  

Slides (PDF)

Bio: Dr. Cristina Nita-Rotaru is an Associate Professor in the Department of Computer Science at Purdue University where she established the Dependable and Secure Distributed Systems Laboratory (DS2). She is a member of the Center for Education and Research in Information Assurance and Security (CERIAS) and is associated with the Center for Wireless Systems and Applications (CWSA) at Purdue University. Her research interests lie in designing distributed systems, network protocols and applications that are robust to failure, mis-configuration, and malicious attacks. Cristina Nita-Rotaru is a recipient of the NSF Career Award in 2006. She has served on the Technical Program Committee of numerous conferences in security, networking, and distributed systems. She is currently an Associate Editor for Elsevier Computer Communications and ACM Transactions on Information and System Security.