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Security of RPL based 6LoWPAN Networks in the Internet of Things: A Review

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posted on 2020-04-14, 15:15 authored by Abhishek VermaAbhishek Verma, Virender Ranga
Internet of Things (IoT) is one of the fastest emerging networking paradigms enabling a large number of applications for the benefit of mankind. Advancements in embedded system technology and compressed IPv6 have enabled the support of IP stack in resource constrained heterogeneous smart devices. However, global connectivity and resource constrained characteristics of smart devices have exposed them to different insider and outsider attacks, which put users’ security and privacy at risk. Various risks associated with IoT slow down its growth and become an obstruction in the worldwide adoption of its applications. In RFC 6550, the IPv6 Routing Protocol for Low Power and Lossy Network (RPL) is specified by IETF’s ROLL working group for facilitating efficient routing in 6LoWPAN networks, while considering its limitations. Due to resource constrained nature of nodes in the IoT, RPL is vulnerable to many attacks that consume the node’s resources and degrade the network’s performance. In this paper, we present a study on
various attacks and their existing defense solutions, particularly to RPL. Open research issues, challenges, and future directions specific to RPL security are also discussed. A taxonomy of RPL attacks, considering the essential attributes like resources, topology, and traffic, is shown for better understanding. In addition, a study of existing cross-layered and RPL specific network layer based defense solutions suggested in the literature is also carried out.


Ministry of Human Resource Development, Government of India.


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National Institute of Technology Kurukshetra

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  • India