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Using metrics from multiple layers to detect attacks in wireless networks

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posted on 20.11.2014, 15:30 by Francisco J. Aparicio-Navarro
The IEEE 802.11 networks are vulnerable to numerous wireless-specific attacks. Attackers can implement MAC address spoofing techniques to launch these attacks, while masquerading themselves behind a false MAC address. The implementation of Intrusion Detection Systems has become fundamental in the development of security infrastructures for wireless networks. This thesis proposes the designing a novel security system that makes use of metrics from multiple layers of observation to produce a collective decision on whether an attack is taking place. The Dempster-Shafer Theory of Evidence is the data fusion technique used to combine the evidences from the different layers. A novel, unsupervised and self- adaptive Basic Probability Assignment (BPA) approach able to automatically adapt its beliefs assignment to the current characteristics of the wireless network is proposed. This BPA approach is composed of three different and independent statistical techniques, which are capable to identify the presence of attacks in real time. Despite the lightweight processing requirements, the proposed security system produces outstanding detection results, generating high intrusion detection accuracy and very low number of false alarms. A thorough description of the generated results, for all the considered datasets is presented in this thesis. The effectiveness of the proposed system is evaluated using different types of injection attacks. Regarding one of these attacks, to the best of the author knowledge, the security system presented in this thesis is the first one able to efficiently identify the Airpwn attack.





  • Mechanical, Electrical and Manufacturing Engineering


© Francisco Javier Aparicio Navarro

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This work is made available according to the conditions of the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International (CC BY-NC-ND 4.0) licence. Full details of this licence are available at:

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A Doctoral Thesis. Submitted in partial fulfilment of the requirements for the award of Doctor of Philosophy of Loughborough University.

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