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Intrusion Detection Systems for Community Wireless Mesh Networks

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Abstract

Wireless mesh networks are being increasingly used to provide affordable network connectivity to communities where wired deployment strategies are either not possible or are prohibitively expensive. Unfortunately, computer networks (including mesh networks) are frequently being exploited by increasingly profit-driven and insidious attackers, which can affect their utility for legitimate use. In response to this, a number of countermeasures have been developed, including intrusion detection systems that aim to detect anomalous behaviour caused by attacks. We present a set of socio-technical challenges associated with developing an intrusion detection system for a community wireless mesh network. The attack space on a mesh network is particularly large; we motivate the need for and describe the challenges of adopting an asset-driven approach to managing this space. Finally, we present an initial design of a modular architecture for intrusion detection, highlighting how it addresses the identified challenges.