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Wireless networking has been enjoying fast development, evidenced by wide deployments of many wireless networks of various sizes, such as wireless personal area networks (WPANs), local area networks (WLANs), metropolitan area networks (WMANs), and wide area networks (WWANs). These wireless networks can be of different formations, such as cellular networks, ad hoc networks, and mesh networks, and can also be domain specific networks, such as vehicular communication networks and sensor networks.
However, wireless networks are lack of physical security because the underlying communications are carried out by electromagnetic radiations in open space. Wireless networks pose a unique challenge in computer and network security community. The effort to improve wireless network security is linked with many technical challenges including compatibility with legacy wireless networks, complexity in implementation, and practical values in the real market.
The need to address wireless network security and to provide timely solid technical contributions establishes the motivation behind this special issue. This special issue received many submissions. Unfortunately, due to the limited space and volume, we can only choose twelve papers in this special issue, as a result of the peer-review process. Wireless vehicular networks and sensor networks are two domain-specific networks that can have many important applications.
This special issue includes a few papers investigating topics of locating and tracking malicious insiders and key management for sensor networks. In vehicular communication networks that are hardened by public cryptographic systems, security modules including secret keys can be exposed to wrong hands due to weakness of physical security than those that can be enforced.
With the security modules and secret keys, various security attacks can be launched via authenticated messages. Christine Laurendeau and Michel Barbeau designed a hyperbolic position bounding algorithm to localize the originator of an attack signal within a vehicular communication network. Their algorithm makes use of received signal strength reports for locating the source of attack signals without the knowledge of the power level of the station that is transmitting packets.
Find the details of their work in the paper entitled “Probabilistic localization and tracking of malicious insiders using hyperbolic position bounding in vehicular networks.” Key management is always a challenging issue in wireless sensor networks due to resource limitation imposed by sensor nodes. Xiang et al. surveyed key establishment and distribution protocols in their paper entitled “In situ key establishment in large-scale sensor networks”