PhD Oral Exam - Mahmoud Abdel Rahman Khasawneh, Electrical and Computer Engineering
When studying for a doctoral degree (PhD), candidates submit a thesis that provides a critical review of the current state of knowledge of the thesis subject as well as the student’s own contributions to the subject. The distinguishing criterion of doctoral graduate research is a significant and original contribution to knowledge.
Once accepted, the candidate presents the thesis orally. This oral exam is open to the public.
Cognitive Radio (CR) technology is considered as a promising technology to overcome spectrum scarcity problem in wireless networks, by sharing the spectrum between both unlicensed users (secondary users, (SUs)) and licensed users (primary users, (PUs)), provided that the SUs respect the PUs’ rights to use the spectrum exclusively.
An important technical area in cognitive radio networks (CRNs) is wireless security. A secure CRN must meet different security requirements, which are: confidentiality, integrity, availability and authentication. Data confidentiality is a mandatory requirement in cognitive radio networks, generally to maintain the privacy of the data owner (PU or SU). Integrity means that data is transmitted from the source to the destination without alteration. While availability is to release the channels assigned to one SU as soon as a PU wants to use its spectrum. Authentication in CRN means that each node has to authenticate itself before it can use the available spectrum channels.
New classes of security threats and challenges in CRNs have been introduced that target the different layers of OSI model and affect the security requirements. Providing strong security may prove to be the most difficult aspect of making CR a long-term commercially-viable concept. Protection of routes used for data transmission is a critical prerequisite to ensure the robustness of the routing process. Therefore, route discovery must be done in such a way that lets each node find the best secure path(s) for its data transmission.
In this work, network security of CRN is improved through proposing different models that are built to fulfil the security requirements mentioned above. Improving the network security enhances the network performance, taking into consideration the quality of service (QoS) desired by the different network nodes such as bandwidth and time delay. This work aims to combine the spectrum sensing phase and the spectrum management phase, as well as to detect all the adversary nodes that slow down the network performance by selectively holding and not forwarding packets to their next hop(s). We measure the network node’s reliability for using network resources through a value called belief level (BL), which is considered as the main parameter for our entire work. BL is used to monitor the nodes’ behavior during the spectrum sensing phase, and then it is used to form the best path(s) during the spectrum management phase. Particularly, this work follows a hierarchical structure that has three different layers. At the bottom layer, a novel authentication mechanism is developed to fulfil the authentication and the availability security requirements, which ends assigning a belief level (BL) to each node. At the middle layer, the nodes’ behavior during the spectrum sensing phase is monitored to detect all the adversary node(s). Finally, at the top layer, a novel routing algorithm is proposed that uses the nodes’ security (BL) as a routing metric. SUs collaborate with each other to monitor other nodes’ behavior. Users’ data confidentiality and integrity are satisfied through this hierarchical structure that uses the cluster-based, central authority, and nodes collaboration concepts. By doing so, the traffic carried in the CRN is secured and adversary nodes are detected and penalized.