I have also used network interdiction modeling to study the vulnerability of wireless networks. Although the field of network interdiction has produced a mature set of modeling and algorithmic tools, these models and algorithms are tailored for “wired” networks, such as supply chains and road networks, and not for wireless ones. Thus, there is a need to extend the concept of interdiction modeling to the wireless domain.
One of my former Ph.D. students has developed a Bender’s decomposition approach for optimally locating jamming devices during a flow jamming attack on a wireless communication network. Another student has studied how to compute the optimal placement of jamming devices within an array of access points as well as how to optimally design such an array that is subject to jamming attacks.
I have also developed a branch-and-cut approach for optimally locating jamming devices given that the wireless network is subject to protocol interference. I am also working on a variation of this approach for studying the version of the problem in which the network is subject to physical interference as well as a study of how directional antennas and limited battery capacity influences vulnerability to jamming. These studies give insight into how to protect wireless networks and how to disable malicious wireless networks. This work is funded by the U.S. Army Engineering Research and Development Center.
A mixed-integer programming approach for optimizing flow jamming attacks
Satish Vadlamani, Hugh Medal, David Schweitzer, Apurba Nandi, Burak Ekşioğlu. To appear in Computers and Operations Research.
Publication Year: 2018
[PDF] AbstractThe ubiquitous nature of wireless networks makes them increasingly prone to jamming attacks as such attacks become more sophisticated. In this paper, we seek to gain understanding about a particular type of jamming attack: the flow-jamming attack. Toward this end, we provide a mixed-integer programming model for optimizing the location of jamming devices for flow-jamming attacks. An accelerated Benders decomposition approach was used to solve the model. We solved the problem for two realistic networks and 12 randomly generated networks and found that the Benders approach was computationally faster than CPLEX for nearly all the problem instances, particularly for larger problems with 1000 binary variables. The experimental results show that optimally locating jamming devices can increase the impact of flow-jamming attacks. Specifically, as the number of possible locations increases the jammers' efficacy increases as well, but there is a clear point of diminishing returns. Also, adding lower-powered jammers to work in conjunction with higher powered jammers significantly increases overall efficacy in spite of the power difference.
Allocating Protection Resources to Facilities When the Effect of Protection is Uncertain
Hugh R. Medal, Edward A. Pohl, Manuel D. Rossetti. IIE Transactions 48(3), 220–234.
Publication Year: 2016
[PDF] [Link to Article] AbstractWe study a new facility protection problem in which one must allocate scarce protection resources to a set of facilities given that allocating resources to a facility only has a probabilistic effect on the facility’s post-disruption capacity. This study seeks to test three common assumptions made in the literature on modeling infrastructure systems subject to disruptions: 1) perfect protection, e.g., protecting an element makes it fail-proof, 2) binary protection, i.e., an element is either fully protected or unprotected, and 3) binary state, i.e., disrupted elements are fully operational or non-operational. We model this facility protection problem as a two-stage stochastic program with endogenous uncertainty. Because this stochastic program is non-convex we present a greedy algorithm and show that it has a worst-case performance of 0.63. However, empirical results indicate that the average performance is much better. In addition, experimental results indicate that the mean-value version of this model, in which parameters are set to their mean values, performs close to optimal. Results also indicate that the perfect and binary protection assumptions together significantly affect the performance of a model. On the other hand, the binary state assumption was found to have a smaller effect.
The wireless network jamming problem subject to protocol interference
Hugh R. Medal. Networks 67(2), 111–125
Publication Year: 2016
[PDF] [Link to Article] AbstractWe study the following questions related to wireless network security: Which jammer placement configuration during a jamming attack results in the largest degradation of network throughput? and Which network design strategies are most effective in mitigating a jamming attack? Although others have studied similar jammer placement problems, this article is the first to optimize network throughput subject to radio wave interference. We formulate this problem as a bi-level mixed-integer program, and solve it using a cutting plane approach that is able to solve networks with up to 81 transmitters, which is a typical size for studies in wireless network optimization. Experiments with the algorithm also yielded the following insights into wireless network jamming: (1) increasing the number of channels is the best strategy for designing a network that is robust against jamming attacks, and (2) increasing the range of the jammer is the best strategy for the attacker.