A probabilistic framework for localization of attackers in MANETs

Massimiliano Albanese, Alessandra De Benedictis, Sushil Jajodia, Paulo Shakarian

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

3 Scopus citations


Mobile Ad Hoc Networks (MANETs) represent an attractive and cost effective solution for providing connectivity in areas where a fixed infrastructure is not available or not a viable option. However, given their wireless nature and the lack of a stable infrastructure, MANETs are susceptible to a wide range of attacks waged by malicious nodes physically located within the transmission range of legitimate nodes. Whilst most research has focused on methods for detecting attacks, we propose a novel probabilistic framework for estimating - independently of the type of attack - the physical location of attackers, based on the location of nodes that have detected malicious activity in their neighborhood. We assume that certain countermeasures can be deployed to capture or isolate malicious nodes, and they can provide feedback on whether an attacker is actually present in a target region. We are interested in (i) estimating the minimum number of countermeasures that need to be deployed to isolate all attackers, and (ii) finding the deployment that maximizes either the expected number of attackers in the target regions or the expected number of alerts explained by the solution, subject to a constraint on the number of countermeasures. We show that these problems are NP-hard, and propose two polynomial time heuristic algorithms to find approximate solutions. The feedback provided by deployed countermeasures is taken into account to iteratively re-deploy them until all attackers are captured. Experiments using the network simulator NS-2 show that our approach works well in practice, and both algorithms can capture over 80% of the attackers within a few deployment cycles.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationComputer Security, ESORICS 2012 - 17th European Symposium on Research in Computer Security, Proceedings
Number of pages18
StatePublished - 2012
Externally publishedYes
Event17th European Symposium on Research in Computer Security, ESORICS 2012 - Pisa, Italy
Duration: Sep 10 2012Sep 12 2012

Publication series

NameLecture Notes in Computer Science (including subseries Lecture Notes in Artificial Intelligence and Lecture Notes in Bioinformatics)
Volume7459 LNCS
ISSN (Print)0302-9743
ISSN (Electronic)1611-3349


Other17th European Symposium on Research in Computer Security, ESORICS 2012


  • Attacker localization
  • probabilistic framework

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Theoretical Computer Science
  • Computer Science(all)


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