Secure message transmission in mobile ad hoc networks
The vision of nomadic computing with its ubiquitous access has stimulated much interest in the mobile ad hoc networking (MANET) technology. However, its proliferation strongly depends on the availability of security provisions, among other factors. In the open, collaborative MANET environment, practically any node can maliciously or selfishly disrupt and deny communication of other nodes. In this paper, we propose the secure message transmission (SMT) protocol to safeguard the data transmission against arbitrary malicious behavior of network nodes. SMT is a lightweight, yet very effective, protocol that can operate solely in an end-to-end manner. It exploits the redundancy of multi-path routing and adapts its operation to remain efficient and effective even in highly adverse environments. SMT is capable of delivering up to 83% more data messages than a protocol that does not secure the data transmission. Moreover, SMT achieves up to 65% lower end-to-end delays and up to 80% lower delay variability, compared with an alternative single-path protocol––a secure data forwarding protocol, which we term secure single path (SSP) protocol. Thus, SMT is better suited to support quality of service for real-time communications in the ad hoc networking environment. The security of data transmission is achieved without restrictive assumptions on the network nodes' trust and network membership, without the use of intrusion detection schemes, and at the expense of moderate multi-path transmission overhead only.