Security in Ad-Hoc Routing Protocols

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Mobile Ad-Hoc Networks (MANETs) are becoming increasingly popular as more and more mobile devices find their way to the public, besides traditional" uses such as military battlefields and disaster situations they are being used more and more in every-day situations. With this increased usage comes the need for making the networks secure as well as efficient, something that is not easily done as many of the demands of network security conflicts with the demands on mobile networks due to the nature of the mobile devices (e.g. low power consumption, low processing load). The concept and structure of MANETs make them prone to be easily attacked using several techniques often used against wired networks as well as new methods particular to MANETs. Security issues arise in many different areas including physical security, key management, routing and intrusion detection, many of which are vital to a functional MANET. In this paper we focus on the security issues related to ad hoc routing protocols in particular. The routing in ad hoc networks remains a key issue since without properly functioning routing protocols, the network simply will not work the way it's intended to. Unfortunately, routing may also be one of the most difficult areas to protect against attacks because of the ad hoc nature of MANETs. We will present the main security risks involved in ad-hoc routing as well as the solutions to these problems that are available today. "
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