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OpenLIDS: a lightweight intrusion detection system for wireless mesh networks

Research output: Contribution in Book/Report/Proceedings - With ISBN/ISSNConference contribution/Paperpeer-review



Wireless mesh networks are being used to provide Internet access in a cost efficient manner. Typically, consumer-level wireless access points with modified software are used to route traffic to potentially multiple back-haul points. Malware infected computers generate malicious traffic, which uses valuable network resources and puts other systems at risk. Intrusion detection systems can be used to detect such activity. Cost constraints and the decentralised nature of WMNs make performing intrusion detection on mesh devices desirable. However, these devices are typically resource constrained. This paper describes the results of examining their ability to perform intrusion detection. Our experimental study shows that commonly-used deep packet inspection approaches are unreliable on such hardware. We implement a set of lightweight anomaly detection mechanisms as part of an intrusion detection system, called OpenLIDS. We show that even with the limited hardware resources of a mesh device, it can detect current malware behaviour in an efficient way.