The University of Arizona

Resilient Software Defined Radio Communications

By Firas Almoualem

Figure 1 Wireless communications inherently by the nature of the accessibility of the medium are prone to attacks. This nature of wireless communication makes it less reliable. Wireless communication channels are prone to attacks like eves dropping attack, where in the attacker decodes all the sensitive information that goes over the channel, or jamming attacks where in the attacker renders the channel unusable. As the sensitivity of the data that is passed over wireless channels of communications increases, there is an increased need to find a means to not only make sure that the data is not accessible to unauthorized listeners but also make sure that the channel or communication is reliable, resilient and hard to detect for the attacker.

As a part of this project we develop an architecture which uses the concept of Moving Target Defense for the wireless communications channels via the use of Software Defined Radios (SDRs). The approach involves the runtime changes in the characteristics of the wireless communications channels between the different wireless nodes. The characteristics that will vary at the run time will involve changes in packet size, Network address of the system, modulation frequency of the wireless channel and the operating frequency of the channel. The concept involves runtime changes in the characteristics of the communication links between the source and the next node over small intervals of time. All these changes will happen at time intervals that change in random manner.. We also propose to use two radio channels, one will work as an active channel while the second acts as a standby channel. The standby channel will be used as an active channel after a time interval “t”. This results in the attacker having only a limited period of time to attack a link before its characteristics change. This also gives an added benefit of the face that if a particular link for a particular configuration is compromised then it remains compromised only for the time interval “t”. Moreover high redundancy is added to packets to thwart jamming attacks. We also propose to use Anomaly Behavior Analysis to detect various active attacks on the wireless links. Thus this approach will provide a secure link between the source and the destination that is secure and resilient to attacks. In addition, we propose to use the Software Defined Networking (SDN) to expand our networks, we use Mininet tool to simulate our networks, and in this simulation we make multiple networks, and we change the access points and the IP addresses over the time.

Colaborators:

Pratik Satam and Cihan Tunc


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