K-Anonymous Communication in Mobile Ad-Hoc Networks

D. Spiewak, T. Engel (Luxembourg), and J. Abendroth (Germany)


Mobile networks, Security, Trust, K-Anonymity, Efficiency


Communication in mobile ad-hoc networks is vulnerable to numerous passive attacks, such as eavesdropping of sensitive information. Encryption helps to protect the confidentiality of transmitted data. However, tracking mobile communications introduces further threats to the reliability of mobile networks. After a successful identification of communicating entities, an adversary on the multi-hop communication path is able to selectively drop packets in order to save own resources. In addition, active attacks are frequently launched subsequently to passive attacks, allowing malicious network entities to disturb the functionality of the mobile network. In this paper, we present the concept of our protocol for k anonymous communication in mobile ad-hoc networks. The basic idea of the protocol is to hide mobile communication within the communication of k honest nodes. Hence, an adversary trying to identify communication partners can just narrow down its search to at least k entities. A trust system helps to determine the anonymity-level k of the communication. A node wishing to communicate, is able to set the anonymity-level k for each communication dynamically, always in dependence on the sensitivity of transmitted data

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