Playing CSMA/CA Game to Deter Backoff Attacks in Ad Hoc Wireless LANs

  • Jerzy Konorski
Conference paper
Part of the Lecture Notes in Computer Science book series (LNCS, volume 3738)


The IEEE 802.11 MAC protocol is vulnerable to selfish backoff attacks exploiting the constituent CSMA/CA mechanism. Administrative prevention of such attacks fails in wireless ad-hoc LANs which cannot mandate stations’ behavior. We take a game-theoretic approach whereby stations are allowed to maximize their payoffs (success rates). Using a fairly accurate performance model we show that a noncooperative CSMA/CA game then arises with a payoff structure characteristic of a Prisoners’ Dilemma. For a repeated CSMA/CA game, a novel SPELL strategy is proposed. If the stations are rational players and wish to maximize a long-term utility, SPELL deters a single attacker by providing a disincentive to deviate from SPELL.


Nash Equilibrium Medium Access Control Medium Access Control Protocol Frame Transmission Backoff Counter 
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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2005

Authors and Affiliations

  • Jerzy Konorski
    • 1
  1. 1.Gdansk University of TechnologyGdanskPoland

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