Security and Privacy in Communication Networks. 6th Iternational ICST Conference, SecureComm 2010, Singapore, September 7-9, 2010. Proceedings

Research Article

Partial Deafness: A Novel Denial-of-Service Attack in 802.11 Networks

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  • @INPROCEEDINGS{10.1007/978-3-642-16161-2_14,
        author={Jihyuk Choi and Jerry Chiang and Dongho Kim and Yih-Chun Hu},
        title={Partial Deafness: A Novel Denial-of-Service Attack in 802.11 Networks},
        proceedings={Security and Privacy in Communication Networks. 6th Iternational ICST Conference, SecureComm 2010, Singapore, September 7-9, 2010. Proceedings},
        proceedings_a={SECURECOMM},
        year={2012},
        month={5},
        keywords={IEEE 802.11 DCF MAC retransmission Rate adaptation Denial of service attack},
        doi={10.1007/978-3-642-16161-2_14}
    }
    
  • Jihyuk Choi
    Jerry Chiang
    Dongho Kim
    Yih-Chun Hu
    Year: 2012
    Partial Deafness: A Novel Denial-of-Service Attack in 802.11 Networks
    SECURECOMM
    Springer
    DOI: 10.1007/978-3-642-16161-2_14
Jihyuk Choi1,*, Jerry Chiang1,*, Dongho Kim1,*, Yih-Chun Hu1,*
  • 1: University of Illinois
*Contact email: jchoi43@illinois.edu, chiang2@illinois.edu, dkim99@illinois.edu, yihchun@illinois.edu

Abstract

We present a new denial-of-service attack against 802.11 wireless networks. Our attack exploits previously discovered performance degradation in networks with substantial rate diversity. In our attack, the attacker artificially reduces his link quality by not acknowledging receptions (which we call “partial deafness” because an attacker pretends to have not heard some of the transmission), thereby exploiting the retransmission and rate adaptation mechanisms to reduce Medium Access Control (MAC)-layer performance. As compared to previously proposed attacks, the partial deafness attack is particularly strong because the attacker does not necessarily need any advantage over normal users in terms of transmission power, computation resources, or channel condition.