Title page for ETD etd-02192004-003948

Type of Document Master's Thesis
Author Krishnaswami, Jayan
Author's Email Address jkrishna@vt.edu
URN etd-02192004-003948
Title Denial-of-Service Attacks on Battery-Powered Mobile Computers
Degree Master of Science
Department Electrical and Computer Engineering
Advisory Committee
Advisor Name Title
Martin, Thomas L. Committee Chair
Ha, Dong Sam Committee Member
Hsiao, Michael S. Committee Member
  • battery
  • mobile devices
  • denial-of-service
Date of Defense 2004-02-13
Availability unrestricted
A Denial of Service (DoS) attack is an incident in which the user is deprived of the services of a resource he is expected to have. With the increasing reliance on mobile devices like laptops and palmtops, a new type of DoS attack is possible that attacks the batteries of these devices, called “sleep deprivation attacks”. The goal of sleep deprivation attacks is to rapidly drain the battery of the mobile devices, rendering the device inoperable long before the expected battery lifetime, thus denying the service the user expects from the mobile device. The purpose of this research is to investigate these types of attacks so that proper defense mechanisms can be put in place before the attacks become a more sophisticated and potent force. This research presents three different possible methods that can be adopted by an attacker to drain the battery of a device i.e. malignant attacks, benign attacks and network service request attacks. These attacks are implemented on a variety of mobile computing platforms like palmtops and a laptop and the corresponding results are presented. Finally, a mathematical model is presented that estimates the battery life of a device based on its power consumption in various power management states and expected usage. This model can also be used to predict the impact of a DoS attack on the battery life of the device under attack.
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