Research Article Open Access

Empirical Analysis of Virtual Carrier Sense Flooding Attacks Over Wireless Local Area Network

Mina Malekzadeh, Abdul Azim Abdul Ghani, Jalil Desa and Shamala Subramaniam


Problem statement: Wireless Local Areas (WLANs) are subject to different types of vulnerabilities. Denial of Service (DoS) attack is the most current challenging issue on the WLANs. The objectives of the study were to (i) Provide an empirical analysis to conduct a series of wireless virtual carrier sense DoS attacks using wireless control frames vulnerabilities, (ii) Design a testbed to compared and analyzed the damage that these attacks can imposed on wireless networks, and (iii) Evaluated the effectiveness of such attacks on performance of WLAN in term of data transmission rate. Approach: The testbed employed ubuntu distribution along a network analyzer, Atheros chipset, and frame injection to the tested WLAN. All experiments were placed on two phases: Targeting wireless access point and targeting wireless client. Each phase presented the results of experiments under three circumstances: Before, during, and after the attacks. Results: Even when virtual carrier sense communication was disabled in the tested WLAN, still the target nodes answered to these forgery frames which made the attacks easier. Attacks over the wireless clients were more effective than the access point. In VCS-RTS-C the rate of data transmission from 3547.384 B sec-1 decreased to 9.185 B sec-1. In contrast with VCS-CTS-C, it decreased from 4959.887-44.740 B sec-1 and amount of decrease for VCS-ACK-C was from 7057.401-136.96 B sec-1. The obtained results demonstrated that during the attacks the target clients were completely disconnected from the wireless network and unable to do any communication. Conclusion: The influence of wireless virtual carrier sense attacks on performance of the wireless network was analyzed. The data transmission rate of the tested WLAN under the attacks was compared with the transmission rate of the WLAN operated under normal conditions. The obtained results confirmed the attacks could easily overwhelmed and shut down the wireless network.

Journal of Computer Science
Volume 5 No. 3, 2009, 214-220


Submitted On: 5 December 2008 Published On: 31 March 2009

How to Cite: Malekzadeh, M., Ghani, A. A. A., Desa, J. & Subramaniam, S. (2009). Empirical Analysis of Virtual Carrier Sense Flooding Attacks Over Wireless Local Area Network . Journal of Computer Science, 5(3), 214-220.

  • 7 Citations



  • DCF flooding
  • control frame attack
  • virtual carrier sense attack
  • wireless network DoS attacks
  • NAV attack
  • RTS/CTS/ACK attack