An energy-efficient defense against message flooding attacks in delay tolerant networks

Hiromu ASAHINA, Keisuke ARAI, Shuichiro HARUTA, P. Takis MATHIOPOULOS, Iwao SASASE

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)


Delay Tolerant Networks (DTNs) are vulnerable to message flooding attacks in which a very large number of malicious messages are sent so that network resources are depleted. To address this problem, previous studies mainly focused on constraining the number of messages that nodes can generate per time slot by allowing nodes to monitor the other nodes' communication history. Since the adversaries may hide their attacks by claiming a false history, nodes exchange their communication histories and detect an attacker who has presented an inconsistent communication history. However, this approach increases node energy consumption since the number of communication histories increases every time a node communicates with another node. To deal with this problem, in this paper, we propose an energy-efficient defense against such message flooding attacks. The main idea of the proposed scheme is to time limit the communication history exchange so as to reduce the volume while ensuring the effective detection of inconsistencies. The advantage of this approach is that, by removing communication histories after they have revealed such inconsistencies, the energy consumption is reduced. To estimate such expiration time, analytical expressions based upon a Markov chain based message propagation model, are derived for the probability that a communication history reveals such inconsistency in an arbitrary time. Extensive performance evaluation results obtained by means of computer simulations and several performance criteria verify that the proposed scheme successfully improves the overall energy efficiency. For example, these performance results have shown that, as compared to other previously known defenses against message flooding attacks, the proposed scheme extends by at least 22% the battery lifetime of DTN nodes, while maintaining the same levels of protection.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)348-359
Number of pages12
JournalIEICE Transactions on Communications
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 2021 Apr


  • Delay tolerant network
  • Energy efficiency
  • Message flooding attack
  • Security

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Software
  • Computer Networks and Communications
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering


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