Foundational Forensic Techniques for Cellular and Ad Hoc Multi-hop Networks Dissertation

(2008). Foundational Forensic Techniques for Cellular and Ad Hoc Multi-hop Networks . 10.25148/etd.FI08081554

thesis or dissertation chair


  • Zhao, Xiwei


  • The Internet has become an integral part of our nation's critical socio-economic infrastructure. With its heightened use and growing complexity however, organizations are at greater risk of cyber crimes. To aid in the investigation of crimes committed on or via the Internet, a network forensics analysis tool pulls together needed digital evidence. It provides a platform for performing deep network analysis by capturing, recording and analyzing network events to find out the source of a security attack or other information security incidents. Existing network forensics work has been mostly focused on the Internet and fixed networks. But the exponential growth and use of wireless technologies, coupled with their unprecedented characteristics, necessitates the development of new network forensic analysis tools. This dissertation fostered the emergence of a new research field in cellular and ad-hoc network forensics. It was one of the first works to identify this problem and offer fundamental techniques and tools that laid the groundwork for future research. In particular, it introduced novel methods to record network incidents and report logged incidents. For recording incidents, location is considered essential to documenting network incidents. However, in network topology spaces, location cannot be measured due to absence of a 'distance metric'. Therefore, a novel solution was proposed to label locations of nodes within network topology spaces, and then to authenticate the identity of nodes in ad hoc environments. For reporting logged incidents, a novel technique based on Distributed Hash Tables (DHT) was adopted. Although the direct use of DHTs for reporting logged incidents would result in an uncontrollably recursive traffic, a new mechanism was introduced that overcome this recursive process. These logging and reporting techniques aided forensics over cellular and ad-hoc networks, which in turn increased their ability to track and trace attacks to their source. These techniques were a starting point for further research and development that would result in equipping future ad hoc networks with forensic components to complement existing security mechanisms.

publication date

  • March 26, 2008


  • mobile ad hoc network
  • network forensics
  • network security
  • peer to peer

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)