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Modeling Vulnerabilities

In order to protect user information and provide robust network operation, a network designer must know what types of attacks to protect against and what threats the network must be robust against. Hence, a necessary prerequisite to robust protocol design is to model network vulnerabilities and the impact of malicious attacks on the network. Protecting the information exchange between users is a problem that is well studied in cryptography, but the introduction of an entire network of users into the scenario introduces additional vulnerabilities when the information security is jointly considered with network protocols such as routing and multiple access. Furthermore, the propagation of information throughout a large network allows a locally constrained adversary to have a more significant impact on information and network security, as the effects of the adversary’s attack can quickly spread beyond the local neighborhood. We have investigated vulnerabilities in large-scale networks due to node capture attacks, in which an adversary physically compromises nodes in the network to extract secret information and gain network presence, and jamming attacks, in which an adversary intentionally interferes with wireless communication in the network to prevent information access and transport.