Skip to content

Research at St Andrews

Friend or Flood? Social prevention of flooding attacks in opportunistic networks

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution



Iain Parris, Tristan Henderson

School/Research organisations


Opportunistic networks enable decentralised and infrastructure-less social networking applications, through the cooperation of peer mobile devices to forward messages on one another's behalf. The decentralised and cooperative nature of these networks, however, introduces potential security threats. For instance, malicious nodes may modify messages, or send many messages in an attempt to drain other nodes' resources and thereby disrupt the network. Such attacks are well-studied for wireless ad hoc networks, but may need reconsideration in disconnected opportunistic networks. In this paper we define a simple flooding attack that can deny service in an opportunistic network. We simulate the attack and demonstrate its efficacy using real-world datasets. We furthermore develop a scheme for mitigating the attack, by using the social relations between nodes. The scheme is lightweight, requires only local knowledge to be stored by each node, and is shown to be effective: for one dataset, the median proportion of time spent offline by nodes was reduced from 42.7% to 6.3%.


Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationDistributed Computing Systems Workshops (ICDCSW), 2014 IEEE 34th International Conference on
Number of pages6
ISBN (Print)978-1-4799-4182-7
Publication statusPublished - 30 Jun 2014
EventSixth International Workshop on Hot Topics in Peer-to-peer computing and Online Social neTworking (HotPOST 2014) - Madrid, United Kingdom
Duration: 30 Jun 20143 Jul 2014

Publication series

NameDistributed Computing Systems Workshops (ICDCSW)
ISSN (Print)1545-0678


ConferenceSixth International Workshop on Hot Topics in Peer-to-peer computing and Online Social neTworking (HotPOST 2014)
CountryUnited Kingdom

Discover related content
Find related publications, people, projects and more using interactive charts.

View graph of relations

Related by author

  1. Data protection for the common good: developing a framework for a data protection-focused data commons

    Wong, J., Henderson, T. & Ball, K., 15 Sep 2020, Data for Policy Conference 2020. Data for Policy, 6 p.

    Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

  2. Automating dynamic consent decisions for the processing of social media data in health research

    Norval, C. & Henderson, T., Jul 2020, In: Journal of Empirical Research on Human Research Ethics. 15, 3, p. 187-201

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

  3. Short paper: Integrating the data protection impact assessment into the software development lifecycle

    Irvine, C., Balasubramaniam, D. & Henderson, T., 2020, Data Privacy Management, Cryptocurrencies and Blockchain Technology: ESORICS 2020 International Workshops, DPM 2020 and CBT 2020, Guildford, UK, September 17–18, 2020, Revised Selected Papers. Garcia-Alfaro, J., Navarro-Arribas, G. & Herrera-Joancomarti, J. (eds.). Cham: Springer, p. 219-228 (Lecture Notes in Computer Science (including subseries Security and Cryptology); vol. 12484 LNCS).

    Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

  4. Data Protection, certification and the fourth industrial revolution

    Henderson, T. & Schafer, B., Sep 2019, Regulating Industrial Internet through IPR, Data Protection and Competition Law. Ballardini, R. M., Pitkänen, O. & Kuommamäki, P. (eds.). Alphen aan den Rijn, The Netherlands: Kluwer Law International

    Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

ID: 104795169