Paper: Vulnerability Analysis of the Optimized Link State Routing Protocol version 2 (OLSRv2)

Mobile Ad hoc NETworks (MANETs) are leaving the confines of research laboratories, to find place in real-world deploy-ments. Outside specialized domains (military, vehicular, etc.), city-wide community-networks are emerging, connecting regular Internet users with each other, and with the Internet, via MANETs. Growing to encompass more than a handful of “trusted participants”, the question of preserving the MANET network connectivity, even when faced with careless or malicious participants, arises, and must be addressed. A first step towards protecting a MANET is to analyze the vulnerabilities of the routing protocol, managing the connectivity. By understanding how the algorithms of the routing protocol operate, and how these can be exploited by those with ill intent, countermeasures can be developed, readying MANETs for wider deployment and use. This paper takes an abstract look at the algorithms that constitute the Optimized Link State Routing Protocol version 2 (OLSRv2), and identifies for each protocol element the possible vulnerabilities and attacks – in a certain way, provides a “cookbook” for how to best attack an operational OLSRv2 network, or for how to proceed with developing protective countermeasures against these attacks.

In Proceedings of the IEEE International Conference on Wireless Communications, Networking and Information Security (WCNIS2010) – PDFdoi:10.1109/WCINS.2010.5544732