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Zhuo Lu, Wenye Wang, Wang, C..  2015.  Camouflage Traffic: Minimizing Message Delay for Smart Grid Applications under Jamming. Dependable and Secure Computing, IEEE Transactions on. 12:31-44.

Smart grid is a cyber-physical system that integrates power infrastructures with information technologies. To facilitate efficient information exchange, wireless networks have been proposed to be widely used in the smart grid. However, the jamming attack that constantly broadcasts radio interference is a primary security threat to prevent the deployment of wireless networks in the smart grid. Hence, spread spectrum systems, which provide jamming resilience via multiple frequency and code channels, must be adapted to the smart grid for secure wireless communications, while at the same time providing latency guarantee for control messages. An open question is how to minimize message delay for timely smart grid communication under any potential jamming attack. To address this issue, we provide a paradigm shift from the case-by-case methodology, which is widely used in existing works to investigate well-adopted attack models, to the worst-case methodology, which offers delay performance guarantee for smart grid applications under any attack. We first define a generic jamming process that characterizes a wide range of existing attack models. Then, we show that in all strategies under the generic process, the worst-case message delay is a U-shaped function of network traffic load. This indicates that, interestingly, increasing a fair amount of traffic can in fact improve the worst-case delay performance. As a result, we demonstrate a lightweight yet promising system, transmitting adaptive camouflage traffic (TACT), to combat jamming attacks. TACT minimizes the message delay by generating extra traffic called camouflage to balance the network load at the optimum. Experiments show that TACT can decrease the probability that a message is not delivered on time in order of magnitude.

Zhuo Lu, Wenye Wang, Wang, C..  2014.  How can botnets cause storms? Understanding the evolution and impact of mobile botnets INFOCOM, 2014 Proceedings IEEE. :1501-1509.

A botnet in mobile networks is a collection of compromised nodes due to mobile malware, which are able to perform coordinated attacks. Different from Internet botnets, mobile botnets do not need to propagate using centralized infrastructures, but can keep compromising vulnerable nodes in close proximity and evolving organically via data forwarding. Such a distributed mechanism relies heavily on node mobility as well as wireless links, therefore breaks down the underlying premise in existing epidemic modeling for Internet botnets. In this paper, we adopt a stochastic approach to study the evolution and impact of mobile botnets. We find that node mobility can be a trigger to botnet propagation storms: the average size (i.e., number of compromised nodes) of a botnet increases quadratically over time if the mobility range that each node can reach exceeds a threshold; otherwise, the botnet can only contaminate a limited number of nodes with average size always bounded above. This also reveals that mobile botnets can propagate at the fastest rate of quadratic growth in size, which is substantially slower than the exponential growth of Internet botnets. To measure the denial-of-service impact of a mobile botnet, we define a new metric, called last chipper time, which is the last time that service requests, even partially, can still be processed on time as the botnet keeps propagating and launching attacks. The last chipper time is identified to decrease at most on the order of 1/√B, where B is the network bandwidth. This result reveals that although increasing network bandwidth can help with mobile services; at the same time, it can indeed escalate the risk for services being disrupted by mobile botnets.