No Matter Where You Go, There You Are:
Secure Localization Techniques for Mobile Wireless Networks

David Evans
University of Virginia

Seminar on Applications of Mathematics UVa Institute of Mathematical Science 2 December 2004


Many ad hoc networking applications require nodes to know their location, but it is often infeasible to manually configure each node's location or incorporate a GPS receiver in each node. Hence, we consider a localization scheme in which a few seed nodes determine their locations directly, and other nodes estimate their location from the messages they receive. Although mobility would appear to make localization more difficult, we describe a localization method based on Monte Carlo techniques that can exploit mobility to improve the accuracy and precision of localization. We report on results from simulated experiments and consider security issues involved in localization. Seed-based localization techniques can be disrupted by attacks including seed impersonation and replay attacks. A particularly damaging attack is a wormhole attack in which an attacker controlling two transceivers in the network connected by a high quality link can replay packets heard at one location at a different location. We propose a defense that uses properties of the physical world in which computing devices are deployed to mitigate wormhole attacks.
Slides: [PPT]

Physicrypt Research Group

Lingxuan Hu and David Evans. Localization for Mobile Sensor Networks. Tenth Annual International Conference on Mobile Computing and Networking (ACM MobiCom 2004). 26 September - 1 October 2004. [PDF]

Lingxuan Hu and David Evans. Using Directional Antennas to Prevent Wormhole Attacks. Network and Distributed System Security Symposium, February 2004. [PDF]