Krentz, Konrad-Felix; Meinel, Christoph; Schnjakin, Maxim
Proceedings of the International Conference on Availability, Reliability and Security (ARES 2016)
The practice of rejecting injected and replayed 802.15.4 frames only after they were received leaves 802.15.4 nodes vulnerable to broadcast and droplet attacks. Basically, in broadcast and droplet attacks, an attacker injects or replays plenty of 802.15.4 frames. As a result, victim 802.15.4 nodes stay in receive mode for extended periods of time and expend their limited energy. He et al. considered embedding one-time passwords in the synchronization headers of 802.15.4 frames so as to avoid that 802.15.4 nodes detect injected and replayed 802.15.4 frames in the first place. However, He et al.’s, as well as similar proposals lack support for broadcast frames and depend on special hardware. In this paper, we propose Practical On-the-fly Rejection (POTR) to reject injected and replayed 802.15.4 frames early during receipt. Unlike previous proposals, POTR supports broadcast frames and can be implemented with many off-the-shelf 802.15.4 transceivers. In fact, we implemented POTR with CC2538 transceivers, as well as integrated POTR into the Contiki operating system. Furthermore, we demonstrate that, compared to using no defense, POTR reduces the time that 802.15.4 nodes stay in receive mode upon receiving an injected or replayed 802.15.4 frame by a factor of up to 16. Beyond that, POTR has a small processing and memory overhead, and incurs no communication overhead.