New strategies for revocation in ad-hoc networks

Tyler Moore, Jolyon Clulow, Shishir Nagaraja, Ross Anderson

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution book

37 Citations (Scopus)


Responding to misbehavior in ad-hoc and sensor networks is difficult. We propose new techniques for deciding when to remove nodes in a decentralized manner. Rather than blackballing nodes that misbehave, a more efficient approach turns out to be reelection - requiring nodes to secure a majority or plurality of approval from their neighbors at regular intervals. This can be implemented in a standard model of voting in which the nodes form a club, or in a lightweight scheme where each node periodically broadcasts a 'buddy list' of neighbors it trusts. This allows much greater flexibility of trust strategies than a predetermined voting mechanism. We then consider an even more radical strategy still - suicide attacks - in which a node on perceiving another node to be misbehaving simply declares both of them to be dead. Other nodes thereafter ignore them both. Suicide attacks, found in a number of contexts in nature from bees to helper T-cells, turn out to be more efficient still for an interesting range of system parameters.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationSecurity and Privacy in Ad-hoc and Sensor Networks - 4th European Workshop, ESAS 2007, Proceedings
EditorsF. Stajano , C. Meadows , S. Capkun , T. Moore
Place of PublicationBerlin
Number of pages15
ISBN (Print)9783540732747
Publication statusPublished - 1 Dec 2007
Event4th European Workshop on Security and Privacy in Ad-hoc and Sensor Networks, ESAS 2007 - Cambridge, United Kingdom
Duration: 2 Jul 20073 Jul 2007

Publication series

NameLecture Notes in Computer Science (including subseries Lecture Notes in Artificial Intelligence and Lecture Notes in Bioinformatics)
Volume4572 LNCS
ISSN (Print)0302-9743
ISSN (Electronic)1611-3349


Conference4th European Workshop on Security and Privacy in Ad-hoc and Sensor Networks, ESAS 2007
Country/TerritoryUnited Kingdom


  • credential revocation
  • key management
  • sensor networks
  • ad hoc networks
  • mathematical models
  • parameter estimation


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