Thwarting Sybil Attackers in Reputation-based Scheme in Mobile Ad hoc Networks

Sohail Abbas, Madjid Merabti, Kashif Kifayat, Thar Baker

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Routing in mobile ad hoc networks is performed in a distributed fashion where each node acts as host and router, such that it forwards incoming packets for others without relying on a dedicated router. Nodes are mostly resource constraint and the users are usually inclined to conserve their resources and exhibit selfish behaviour by not contributing in the routing process. The trust and reputation models have been proposed to motivate selfish nodes for cooperation in the packet forwarding process. Nodes having bad trust or reputation are detected and secluded from the network, eventually. However, due to the lack of proper identity management and use of non-persistent identities in ad hoc networks, malicious nodes can pose various threats to these methods. For example, a malicious node can discard the bad reputed identity and enter into the system with another identity afresh, called whitewashing. Similarly, a malicious node may create more than one identity, called Sybil attack, for self-promotion, defame other nodes, and broadcast fake recommendations in the network. These identity-based attacks disrupt the overall detection of the reputation systems. In this paper, we propose a reputation-based scheme that detects selfish nodes and deters identity attacks. We address the issue in such a way that, for normal selfish nodes, it will become no longer advantageous to carry out a whitewash. Sybil attackers are also discouraged (i.e., on a single battery, they may create fewer identities). We design and analyse our rationale via game theory and evaluate our proposed reputation system using NS-2 simulator. The results obtained from the simulation demonstrate that our proposed technique considerably diminishes the throughput and utility of selfish nodes with a single identity and selfish nodes with multiple identities when compared to the benchmark scheme.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)6214-6242
Number of pages29
JournalKSII Transactions on Internet and Information Systems
Issue number12
Publication statusPublished - 31 Dec 2019

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
Copyright © 2019 KSII


  • Game theory
  • Reputation and trust systems
  • Selfish node
  • Sybil attacks
  • Whitewashing


Dive into the research topics of 'Thwarting Sybil Attackers in Reputation-based Scheme in Mobile Ad hoc Networks'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this