Evaluation and Prevention of MAC Layer Misbehaviours in Public Wireless Hotspots

Chaminda Alocious, Hannan Xiao, B. Christianson, James Malcolm

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

3 Citations (Scopus)
361 Downloads (Pure)


IEEE 802.11 protocol assumes all the nodes in the network cooperate and adhere to the standard. However, nodes may purposefully misbehave in order to obtain extra bandwidth, conserve resources or disrupt network performance. Previously, Kausanaur proposed a Receiver Trusted MAC protocol (RECTR-MAC)
by extending IEEE 802.11 to prevent Medium Access Control (MAC) sender misbehaviours. This protocol trusts the receiving node (Access Point) in a WLAN and enables the Access Point to allocate the MAC protocol random backoff values for wireless clients. Our research investigates MAC layer node
misbehaviours in the context of a Public Wireless Hotspot. RECTR-MAC
has been implemented by porting the legacy code-base to the latest ns2. Furthermore, our evaluation has been extended to incorporate several Access Point misbehaviours to simulate the scenario of an untrusted hotspot (misbehaving access point) , which has not been investigated much in the literature. In public wireless hotspot the misbehaving wireless senders could run a malware at the Hotspot to gain the access to alter the MAC protocol operation. The experiment results show that Hotspot misbehaviours significantly affect the network performance, nodes throughput reduced by 50% and misbehaviour detection accuracy by 40%. The results have also been compared with the
standard IEEE 802.11 protocol. This evaluation is important to understand the design principles for a reliable MAC protocol which should be resilient against MAC layer misbehaviours.
Finally, this paper describes future improvements for detecting and preventing MAC layer misbehaviours in Wi-Fi networks
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationProcs of the 13th IEEE Int Conf on Dependable, Autonomic and Secure Computing
Subtitle of host publication(DASC-2015)
PublisherInstitute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE)
Number of pages8
Publication statusPublished - Oct 2015
EventThe 13th IEEE International Conference on Dependable, Autonomic and Secure Computing (DASC-2015) - Liverpool, United Kingdom
Duration: 26 Oct 201528 Oct 2015


ConferenceThe 13th IEEE International Conference on Dependable, Autonomic and Secure Computing (DASC-2015)
Country/TerritoryUnited Kingdom


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