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Purdue University
Center for Education and Research in Information Assurance and Security

Collaborative Attacks in WiMAX

Research Areas: End System Security

Principal Investigator: Bharat Bhargava

In this paper, we discuss security problems, with a focus on collaborative attacks, in the Worldwide Interoperability for Microwave Access (WiMAX) scenario. The WiMAX protocol suite, which includes but is not limited to DOCSIS, DES, and AES, consists of a large number of protocols. We present briefly the WiMAX standard and its vulnerabilities. We pinpoint the problems with individual protocols in the WiMAX protocol suite, and discuss collaborative attacks on WiMAX systems. We present several typical WiMAX attack scenarios, including: bringing a large number of attackers to increase their computation power and break WiMAX protocols; assembling a sufficient number of attackers to influence the decision-making of core machines, which includes routing attacks and Sybil attacks; and exploiting implementations that do not conform to the WiMAX specification completely, causing interoperability problems among various protocols, including the ones in typical WiMAX/WiFi/LAN deployment scenarios. We present theoretical models and practical solutions to profile, model, and analyze collaborative attacks in WiMAX. We employ attack graphs to do vulnerability analysis. Experimental results verify our models and validate our analysis.


Students: Nwokedi C Idika M. Azarmi L. Lilien Yu Zhang

Keywords: collaborative attacks, cryptography, security, WiMax