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Secure Infrastructure-Less Network (SINET)

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Naval Postgraduate School Monterey United States

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Military leaders and first responders desire the familiarity of commercial-off-the-shelf lightweight mobile devices while operating in the environments of the modern battlefield and disaster sites. Both environments pose a significant challenge for command and control since they lack reliable or secure communication infrastructure. Routine and simple mobile information-sharing tasks become a challenge over the cumbersome and expensive radios currently available to first responders and the military. To fill this gap, there is a need for secure, well-connected, lightweight, and mobile handheld computing devices with simple and familiar interfaces. This research explores the current Department of Defense requirements for security, existing secure tactical radios, and mobile device technologies. Furthermore, we investigate if Android devices might provide a solution. Specifically, we investigate the promising technology of Wi-Fi Direct on Android devices to build a secure network using a homogeneous Wifi mesh. We find that mobile devices running Android 6.0 API 23 cannot build a multi-hop homogeneous Wifi mesh without obtaining root permission. We recommend two methods for overcoming this limitation. The most promising method involves embedded devices providing a secure, lightweight, and mobile infrastructure through a homogenous Wifi mesh.

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Technical Report



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Approved For Public Release;

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