Security implications of cooperative communications in wireless networks

Salik Makda, Ankur Choudhary, Naveen Ramant, Thanasis Korakis, Zhifeng Tao, Shivendra Panwar

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution


Cooperative communications is an innovative technique that is expected to change the behavior of wireless networks in the near feature. In the MAC layer, this technique defines new protocols by enabling additional collaboration from stations that otherwise will not directly participate in the transmission. A typical example of such a protocol is CoopMAC [1], a cooperative MAC protocol that involves an intermediate station or helper in the communication between a transmitter and a receiver. Under this scheme, the transmitter sends its packets to the receiver by forwarding them through the helper. In this way the protocol takes advantage of spatial diversity and faster two-hop transmission, significantly improving the performance of the network. In such an environment, where the sender relies on an intermediate helper to forward its packets to the original destination, numerous security issues may arise. The present security schemes need to be adapted in order to support end-to-end security in the source-helper-destination communication model. In this paper we discuss the potential security issues that cooperation may raise and propose two new security schemes to address those concerns. To evaluate the feasibility of the proposed algorithms, we implement them using open source drivers platform, which is explained in the paper in detail. Moreover, the paper also discusses the design challenges encounterd and share the experience and insights gained during implementation. Our implementations of the suggested techniques allow the WEP, WPA and WPA2 (802.11i) security protocols to successfully operate in the new cooperative environment.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationProceedings of the 2008 IEEE Sarnoff Symposium, SARNOFF
StatePublished - 2008
Event2008 IEEE Sarnoff Symposium, SARNOFF - Princeton, NJ, United States
Duration: Apr 28 2008Apr 30 2008

Publication series

NameProceedings of the 2008 IEEE Sarnoff Symposium, SARNOFF


Other2008 IEEE Sarnoff Symposium, SARNOFF
Country/TerritoryUnited States
CityPrinceton, NJ


  • Cooperative MAC protocols
  • Cooperative communications
  • Open source implementation
  • Wireless security

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering


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