Persuasive: A node isolation attack variant for OLSR-based MANETs and its mitigation

Nadav Schweitzer, Liad Cohen, Amit Dvir, Ariel Stulman

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Scopus citations


Mobile ad hoc networks (MANETs) are self-creating, self-configuring, self-healing, decentralized adaptive networks. The Optimized Link State Routing protocol (OLSR) is one of four base routing protocols for use in ad hoc networks. MANET's routing protocols, however, are vulnerable to various attacks. In this paper we introduce PERSUASIVE, a new, sophisticated and devastating node isolation attack variant against the OLSR protocol. This attack allows for an attacker model with enhanced capabilities. We then present a novel technique to mitigate PERSUASIVE. The technique guarantees protection for all feasible topologies, incuring only local (centered around the attacker) and relatively-low overhead, independent of the network's topology. Our new protection mechanism does not disclose its activity to the attacker, and does not impose any network overhead if an attack is not launched. The novelty of the current approach is rooted in the fact that only inherent capabilities of the OLSR protocol are used. This allows for quiet discovery of the adversary, and easy integration with deployed systems. We simulate PERSUASIVE and its mitigation with NS3, comparing it with several state-of-the-art protection alternatives. We show that launching PERSUASIVE in a dynamic network while our mitigation mechanism is activated, will not only fend off the attack with success rates running between 93% for small networks and 100% for larger ones, but also enhance the victim's connectivity. It is shown that the average end-to-end delay incurred is also better than existing alternatives, and only slightly worse than native OLSR (without any protection).

Original languageEnglish
Article number103192
JournalAd Hoc Networks
StatePublished - 1 Sep 2023


  • Ad-hoc networks
  • Node isolation


Dive into the research topics of 'Persuasive: A node isolation attack variant for OLSR-based MANETs and its mitigation'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this