Emergent Properties in Ad-Hoc Networks: A Security Perspective

Professor V. Gligor, University of Maryland

Abstract: A common characteristic of all ad-hoc networks is that of emergent properties. Intuitively, emergent properties are features that cannot be provided by individual network nodes themselves but instead result from interaction and collaboration among network nodes. In this talk, we present the salient characteristics of these properties and discuss their security implications. Several examples of emergent properties in sensor and ad-hoc networks are discussed including key connectivity, trust establishment, and node replica detection. We conclude with a common theme of current research in security of emergent properties, namely that of a new threat model whereby the adversary may adaptively compromise nodes of a network. We contrast this theme with that of past research that limits an adversary to ``man-in-the-middle'' attacks and relies exclusively on end-to-end security solutions.

Biography: Virgil D. Gligor received his B.Sc., M.Sc., and Ph.D. degrees from the University of California at Berkeley. He has been at the University of Maryland since 1976, and is currently a Professor of Electrical and Computer Engineering. He is an Editorial Board member of the ACM Transactions on Information System Security, IEEE Transactions on Dependable and Secure Computing, and IEEE Transactions on Computers. Over the past three decades, his research interests ranged from access control mechanisms, penetration analysis, and denial-of-service protection to cryptographic protocols and applied cryptography. http://www.ece.umd.edu/~gligor/