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PASER is an acronym for Position Aware Secure and Efficient Mesh Routing. It is an efficient secure routing protocol for wireless mesh networks. The aim of PASER protocol is to achieve a high security level while maintaining a good performance during the routing process in wireless mesh networks.
The main goals of PASER are:
- Preventing unauthorized nodes from joining the mesh network.
- Prevent external tampering of the route look-up process.
- Dynamic key management in case authorized nodes get stolen.
- Dealing with efficiency and real-time capability requirements of the network even in harsh environments, such as rescue and emergency operations.
To secure the routing messages, PASER combines digital signature with lightweight authentication tree and a keyed-hash function. By doing so, the protocol achieves node authentication, message freshness and integrity as well as neighbor transmissions authentication. Furthermore, to cope with the problem of node compromise, PASER employs a key revocation scheme to eliminate those nodes in an efficient way. To achieve this, it endorses a dynamic distribution of networks keys.
From a routing point of view, PASER classifies the network according to various criteria into successive levels. It is a hierarchical routing protocol and establishes the route discovery process to a large extent upon reactive unicast messages.
As already mentioned, PASER is a hierarchical reactive routing protocol. It differs between mesh gateways, mesh routers and mesh access points. All nodes, before joining the network, are required to register themselves at the key distribution center (KDC). Therefore, for contacting the key distribution center, the mesh routers / access points must discover a route to a mesh gateway.
For finding the broken links and to take appropriate action upon them, specific timeouts are defined for an existing route. Apart from this, there are 2 cases in which a node deletes that route:
- A node has not received a predefined number of trusted broadcast Hello messages from a neighbor
- A node did not get an acknowledge for a unicast packet sent to that neighbor, even after 7 retransmissions.
PASER is an open source protocol and has been implemented in Linux as well as in the simulation tool OMNeT++. The code of those implementations and the corresponding documentations can be found at www.paser.info.
PASER is suitable for wireless mesh networks (WMNs) with security requirements. It is mainly tailored for rescue organizations in emergency operations. Nonetheless, it is not restricted to such scenarios as it does not make restrictive assumptions neither on the network nodes nor on the metrics used to select the routes.