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      The Smallville Effect: Social Ties Make Mobile Networks More Secure Against the Node Capture Attack


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          Mobile Ad Hoc networks, due to the unattended nature of the network itself and the dispersed location of nodes, are subject to several unique security issues. One of the most vexed security threat is node capture. A few solutions have already been proposed to address this problem; however, those solutions are either centralized or focused on theoretical mobility models alone. In the former case the solution does not fit well the distributed nature of the network while, in the latter case, the quality of the solutions obtained for realistic mobility models severely differs from the results obtained for theoretical models. The rationale of this paper is inspired by the observation that re-encounters of mobile nodes do elicit a form of social ties. Leveraging these ties, it is possible to design efficient and distributed algorithms that, with a moderated degree of node cooperation, enforce the emergent property of node capture detection. In particular, in this paper we provide a proof of concept proposing a set of algorithms that leverage, to different extent, node mobility and node cooperation--that is, identifying social ties--to thwart node capture attack. In particular, we test these algorithms on a realistic mobility scenario. Extensive simulations show the quality of the proposed solutions and, more important, the viability of the proposed approach.

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          Security & Cryptology, Networking & Internet architecture


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