Security challenges in emerging and next-generation wireless communication networks


Wireless network technologies are undergoing rapid advancements. Researchers are currently envisioning different attractive properties of wireless systems such as the ability to self-organize, self-configure, self-heal, self-manage, and self-maintain. Different wireless networks having the potential to offer cost-effective home and enterprise access networking solutions are being researched. Concepts such as dynamic spectrum access, convergence, unified network architectures, and seamless service access in heterogeneous networks are gaining widespread popularity. Technologies such as Wireless Mesh Networks (WMNs), WiFi, WiMAX, LTE, Bluetooth, ZigBee, RFID, IEEE 802.20, IEEE 802.22, and software defined radio are becoming increasingly popular. Even though these technologies hold great promises for our future, there are several research challenges that need to be addressed. A significant portion of these research challenges are attributed to security and privacy issues in these kinds of networks. This Special Issue has been launched with the aim to publish a few high quality research papers related to the recent advances in the security and privacy of different emerging and next-generation network technologies. We have received a large number of submissions for this Special Issue. However, only a few of papers that have been adjudged to be of relatively high quality as per the results of an independent peer review process could be accepted. They are summarized below.

In WLAN security policy management, the standard IP-based access control mechanisms are not sufficient due to dynamic changes in network topology and access control states. The role-based access control (RBAC) models may be appropriate to strengthen the security perimeter over the network resources. Bera et al. have proposed in this paper a WLAN (wireless local area network) security policy management framework based on a formal spatio-temporal RBAC (STRBAC) model. The present work primarily focuses on dynamic computation of security policies based on various control states, its formal representation using STRBAC model and security property verification of the proposed STRBAC model. The proposed policy management framework logically partitions the WLAN topology into various security policy zones named as Central Authentication and Role Server (CARS) and a Global Policy Server (GPS). Each policy zone consists of a policy zone controller (WPZ con) which dynamically computes the low level access configurations. Finally, a SAT based verification procedure has been presented for verifying the security properties of the proposed STRBAC model.

Khurana and Gupta have presented an end-to-end algorithm. According to them this is more efficient than the existing one in spatio-temporal way. This algorithm does not require clock synchronization as it is independent of space and time. They have proved that their algorithm is able to detect wormholes with tunnel length greater than or equal to (equation image)rmax where p = equation image, where rmin = minimum communication range and rmax = maximum communication range. They also studied the effect of error in the positions of the node on the wormhole detection capability. With the help of simulations they have shown that detection mechanism is also possible when tunnel length is less than or equal to (equation image)rmax.

Shrisat and Bhargava have presented a local, distributed hole detection algorithm for sensor network that identifies the geographical boundary of voids in the network assuming the relative geographic information of only 2-hop neighbors. This algorithm is distributed, O (k) per node computation (for k 2-hop neighbors) and requires synchronization between nodes that are not more than 2-hops away. They have verified it for both uniform and non-uniform distributions. The algorithm takes a local best-effort approach and does not verify if the nodes indeed form a closed polygonal loop. They also discuss the security implications of the hole detection framework in the context of sensor networks.

Pathan et al. have proposed a new deployment model of distributed sensor network termed as HDSN(Heterogeneous Distributed Sensor Network). Based on the novel deployment model, they have proposed a secure group association management scheme that could be employed alongside other supplementary security mechanisms for HDSN. They have also presented an efficient pair wise key derivation scheme between two sensor nodes to resist any adversary's attempt. They also discuss the characteristics of HDSN, its scopes.

Aparna and Amberker have studied the numerous applications relied upon secure group communication. In some applications many users join and leave the group at the same time known as bursty behavior. They have proposed a scheme for handling all the bursty behavior scenarios and analyzing the communication and computation costs for the worst cases. They have also shown that in comparison to the scheme proposed by Wong et al., their scheme is efficient in terms of encryption and cost of generation.

WLM is one of the most prevalent ubiquitous Instant Messaging application programs that dramatically changes the way of communication for human beings in the past decade in all aspects. Few researches have formally incorporated the DF of WLM into generic guidelines for the associate personnel to follow. Cheng Chu et al. have provided the system architecture of the experiment accompanied with their proposed Check Point methodology trying to disclose the possible digital evidences that could be explicitly collected and scientifically presented as probative evidences with respect to the persistently mushrooming information security incidents in the next generation wireless communication networks.

As vehicular networks approach deployment phases, there is wide recognition for challenges and pressing needs for solutions with respect to the areas of security, privacy, and performance. One of the stringent requirements in this area is that of protecting the privacy of vehicle owners (i.e., their anonymity and their vehicle's location unlinkability) during their participation in a vehicular network, such as in traffic safety applications. In this paper the authors have presented novel models of concrete anonymity and unlinkability requirements for vehicular networks. One key aspect of their modeling consists of recognizing the existence and impact of additional certification authorities managed by vehicle manufacturers. The resulting vehicular-network key infrastructures satisfy desirable combinations of anonymity, unlinkability, bad actor detection, and performance.

One of the main drawbacks of Slotted ALOHA is its throughput collapse at higher traffic load condition due to excessive collisions and known as stability problem. The maximum throughput of Slotted ALOHA can be achieved by the knowledge of the number of active mobile nodes and the average rate of the attacking. Jahangir and Hussein have presented in this paper a self-stabilized slotted ALOHA system against the random packet destruction attacking noise packets. Results show that the system provides nearly optimal stable throughput without the knowledge of current active number of mobile nodes and current attacking packets arrival rate. The proposed system is truly distributive in nature and can be easily implemented in wireless access systems without requiring any centralized control and can defend against random packet destruction Denial of Service (DoS) attack.


We are thankful to all those authors who considered submitting their work to this Special Issue, irrespective of whether their papers could be accepted or not. We are thankful to all the Referees, who painstakingly reviewed the papers. Without their hard work and dedication, it would not have been possible to select these high quality papers within the time limits of this Special Issue. We are extremely grateful to the Editor-in-Chief, Professor Hsiao-Hwa Chen, and the Editorial Staff of this Journal for supporting the launch of this Special Issue and providing help whenever it was required.