Ad hoc networks are a new wireless networking paradigm for mobile hosts. Unlike traditional mobile wireless networks, ad hoc networks do not rely on any fixed infrastructure. Instead, hosts rely on each other to keep the network connected.
The military tactical and other security-sensitive operations are still the main applications of ad hoc networks, although there is a trend to adopt ad hoc networks for commercial uses due to their unique properties. One main challenge in design of these networks is their vulnerability to security attacks.
In this paper, we study the threats an ad hoc network faces and the security goals to be achieved. We identify the new challenges and opportunities posed by this new networking environment and explore new approaches to secure its communication. In particular, we take advantage of the inherent redundancy in ad hoc networks | multiple routes between nodes | to defend routing against denial of service attacks. We also use replication and new cryptographic schemes, such as threshold cryptography, to build a highly secure and highly available key management service, which forms the core of our security framework..