PublisherThe University of Arizona.
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AbstractAs the use of wireless technologies increases significantly due to the ease of deployment, the cost-effectiveness and the increase in bandwidth, there is a strong need to make the wireless communications reliable, secure, and resilient to attacks or faults (malicious or natural). Wireless communications are inherently prone to attacks due the open access to the medium. However, current wireless protocols have addressed the privacy issues, but have failed to provide effective solutions against denial of service attacks, session hijacking and jamming attacks. The goal of this research is to provide a resilient wireless communication system against these type of attacks. In this thesis, we present a resilient wireless communications architecture based on Moving Target Defense (MTD), Software Defined Radio (SDR), and Software Defined Networking (SDN). The approach achieves the resilient operations by randomly changing the runtime characteristics of the wireless communication channels in order to make it extremely difficult to be succeeded in launching attacks. The runtime characteristics that can be changed include the packet size, the network address, the modulation type, and the operating frequency of the channel. In addition, the lifespan for each configuration will be random. To reduce the overhead in switching between two consecutive configurations, we use two radio channels, one is designated as an active channel while the second is designated as a standby channel. The standby channel is used if the attacker was successfully in attacking the active channel. This will harden the wireless communications attacks because the attackers need to figure out the configuration being used and then launch an attack before the current configuration is changed. Our experimental results and evaluation show that our approach can tolerate a wide range of attacks against wireless networks.
Degree ProgramGraduate College
Electrical & Computer Engineering