Design of Efficient Lightweight Strategies to Combat DoS Attack in Delay Tolerant Network Routing


Delay tolerant networks (DTNs) are characterized by delay and intermittent connectivity. Satisfactory network functioning in a DTN relies heavily on co-ordination among participating nodes. However, in practice, such co-ordination cannot be taken for granted due to possible misbehaviour by relay nodes. Routing in a DTN is, therefore, vulnerable to various attacks, which adversely affect network performance. Several strategies have been proposed in the literature to alleviate such vulnerabilities—they vary widely in terms of throughput, detection time, overhead etc. One key challenge is to arrive at a tradeoff between detection time and overhead. We observe that the existing table-based reactive strategies to combat Denial-of-service (DoS) attacks in DTN suffer from two major drawbacks: high overhead and slow detection. In this paper, we propose three secure, light-weight and time-efficient routing algorithms for detecting DoS attacks (Blackhole and Grey-hole attacks) in the Spray & Focus routing protocol. The proposed algorithms are based on use of a small fraction of privileged (trusted) nodes. The first strategy, called TN, outperforms the existing table-based strategy with 20—30 % lesser detection time, 20—25 % higher malicious node detection and negligible overhead. The other two strategies, CTN_MI and CTN_RF explore the novel idea that trusted nodes are able to utilize each others' information/experience using their long range connectivity as and when available. Simulations performed using an enhanced ONE simulator reveals that investing in enabling connectivity among trusted nodes (as in CTN_RF) can have significant performance benefits.


Computer Science

Research Center/Lab(s)

Intelligent Systems Center

Second Research Center/Lab

Center for High Performance Computing Research

Keywords and Phrases

Denial-of-service attack; Network security; Routers; Routing algorithms; Wireless networks; Denial of Service; Greyhole attack; Maliciousness; Routing; Security; Trusted node; Delay tolerant networks; Delay tolerant network (DTN); Denial-of-service (DoS); Greyhole attack; Spray & Focus

International Standard Serial Number (ISSN)


Document Type

Article - Journal

Document Version


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© 2018 Springer Verlag, All rights reserved.

Publication Date

01 Jan 2018