Architecture for Surviving Denial-of-Service Attacks on Battery-Powered Mobile Computers

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 The ongoing proliferation of battery-powered computing devices has created a new type of "denial of service" attack: If an attacker can drain a device's battery, for example, by having it repeatedly execute a energy-hungry program, the device will be rendered inoperable. Unlike other denial-of-service attacks where the attacker must keep up the attack in order to continue to deny the service, the attacker can quit attacking a battery-powered device once she has fully discharged the battery, and move on to attack another device. Just as the advent of computer networks enabled an increase in the number of computer viruses, Trojan horses, and other computer security breaches, the rising availability of and increasing dependence on mobile computing devices will lead to the creation and spread of "power-related security attacks." The battery in a mobile computing device is  thus a point of vulnerability and must be protected. The purpose of this research is to defend against attacks on the battery by defining (1) a power-secure architecture for mobile computing devices that guarantees a minimum battery life, and (2) a design flow for identifying power-related security vulnerabilities.



Thomas Martin, Michael Hsiao, Dong Ha, Jayan Krishnaswami, "Denial-of-Service Attacks on Battery-powered Mobile Computers," Proceedings of the 2nd IEEE Pervasive Computing Conference, Orlando, Florida, March 2004, pp. 309-318  (pdf).

Daniel C. Nash, Thomas L. Martin, Dong S. Ha, and Michael S. Hsiao, " Towards an Intrusion Detection System for Battery Exhaustion Attacks on Mobile Computing Devices," to appear the 2nd International Workshop on Pervasive Computing and Communications Security (PerSec '05), March 8, 2005. (pdf)

Shrirang M. Yardi, Michael S. Hsiao, Thomas L. Martin, and Dong S. Ha, "Quality-Driven Proactive Computation Elimination for Power-Aware Multimedia Processing," to appear at DATE '05. (pdf)


Jayan Krishnaswami,
Denial-of-Service Attacks on Battery-Powered Mobile Computers, Master's Thesis, February, 2004.  Available from Virginia Tech ETD site.

This material is based upon work supported by the National Science Foundation under Grant No. ANI-0219801. Any opinions, findings and conclusions or recomendations expressed in this material are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of the National Science Foundation (NSF).

Last updated: May 17, 2004.