VeRA – Version Number and Rank Authentication in RPL

VeRA – Version Number and Rank Authentication in RPL Designing a routing protocol for large low-power and lossy networks (LLNs), consisting of thousands of constrained nodes and unreliable links, presents new challenges. The IPv6 Routing Protocol for Low-power and Lossy Networks (RPL), have been developed by the IETF ROLL Working Group as a preferred routing protocol to provide IPv6 routing functionality in LLNs. RPL provides path diversity by building and maintaining directed acyclic graphs (DAG) rooted at one (or more) gateway. However, an adversary that impersonates a gateway or has compromised one of the nodes close to the gateway can divert a large part of network traffic forward itself and/or exhaust the nodes’ batteries. Therefore in RPL, special security care must be taken when the Destination Oriented Directed Acyclic Graph (DODAG) root is updating the Version Number by which reconstruction of the routing topology can be initiated. The same care also must be taken to prevent an internal attacker (compromised DODAG node) to publish decreased Rank value, which causes a large part of the DODAG to connect to the DODAG root via the attacker and give it the ability to eavesdrop a large part of the network traffic forward itself. Unfortunately, the currently available security services in RPL will not protect against a compromised internal node that can construct and disseminate fake messages. In this paper, a new security service is described that prevents any misbehaving node from illegitimately increasing the Version Number and compromise illegitimate decreased Rank values.