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A Security Strategy for Cyber Threats on Neighbor Discovery in 6LoWPAN Networks

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Technical Report

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Naval Postgraduate School Monterey United States

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Wireless sensor networks employ various technologies to facilitate low-power communications. One such technology is the Internet Protocol version 6 Low-Power Local Area Networks 6LoWPAN. One of the key concerns regarding 6LoWPAN networks is the vulnerability of its neighbor discovery ND protocol. In this thesis, we study the potential threat vectors against the ND protocol, focusing specifically on replay attacks that can cause denial of service. We propose a combination of hard and soft security approaches to mitigate cyber-attacks against the ND protocol. The hard security approach is based on a Trust-ND option, which includes a Timestamp, Nonce, and SHA-1 hashing function. The soft security approach leverages the social interactions between the nodes in the network to identify malicious nodes. We also propose a time-synchronization mechanism to synchronize the local clock of the nodes in the network. We demonstrate the effectiveness of the Nonce and Timestamp functions against replay attacks using the Contiki Operating System and Cooja network simulator. Via simulations, we also demonstrate the effectiveness of the time-synchronization mechanism. In addition, the data captured during the simulations is further analyzed using Wireshark.

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