University of Oulu

Konstantin Mikhaylov, Radek Fujdiak, Ari Pouttu, Voznak Miroslav, Lukas Malina, and Petr Mlynek. 2019. Energy Attack in LoRaWAN: Experimental Validation. In Proceedings of the 14th International Conference on Availability, Reliability and Security (ARES ’19). Association for Computing Machinery, New York, NY, USA, Article 74, 1–6. DOI:

Energy attack in Lorawan : experimental validation

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Author: Mikhaylov, Konstantin1,2; Fujdiak, Radek2,3; Pouttu, Ari1;
Organizations: 1University of Oulu, Oulu, Finland
2Brno University of Technology, Brno, Czech Republic
3Technical University of Ostrava, Ostrava, Czech Republic
4Brno University of Technology Brno, Czech Republic
Format: article
Version: accepted version
Access: open
Online Access: PDF Full Text (PDF, 2.2 MB)
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Language: English
Published: Association for Computing Machinery, 2019
Publish Date: 2020-01-10


Myriads of new devices take their places around us every single day, making a decisive step towards bringing the concept of the Internet of Things (IoT) in reality. The Low Power Wide Area Networks (LPWANs) are today considered to be one of the most perspective connectivity enablers for the resource and traffic limited IoT. In this paper, we focus on one of the most widely used LPWAN technologies, named LoRaWAN. Departing from the traditional data-focused security attacks, in this study we investigate the robustness of LoRaWAN against energy (depletion) attacks. For many IoT devices, the energy is a limited and very valuable resource, and thus in the near future the device’s energy may become the target of an intentional attack. Therefore, in the paper, we first define and discuss the possible energy attack vectors, and then experimentally validate the feasibility of an energy attack over one of these vectors. Our results decisively show that energy attacks in LoRaWAN are possible and may cause the affected device to lose a substantial amount of energy. Specifically, depending on the device’s SF (Spreading Factor), the demonstrated attack increased the total energy consumption during a single communication event 36% to 576%. Importantly, the shown attack does not require the attacker to have any keys or other confidential data and can be carried against any LoRaWAN device. The presented results emphasize the importance of energy security for LPWANs in particular, and IoT in general.

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ISBN Print: 978-1-4503-7164-3
Article number: 3340525
DOI: 10.1145/3339252.3340525
Host publication: 14th International Conference on Availability, Reliability and Security, ARES 2019
Conference: International Conference on Availability, Reliability and Security
Type of Publication: A4 Article in conference proceedings
Field of Science: 213 Electronic, automation and communications engineering, electronics
Funding: This work is supported by the Academy of Finland 6Genesis Flagship under Grant no. 318927 and conducted in the context of University of Oulu LPWAN evolution project. Moreover, the National Sustainability Program under Grant no. LO1401 and the Ministry of Interior under Grant no. VI20192022149 financed the research described in this article and, for the research, the infrastructure of the SIX Center was used. The work of K. Mikhaylov was also supported by the mobility project MeMoV, No. CZ.02.2.69/0.0/0.0/16_027/ 00083710, of Czech Ministry of Education, Youth, and Sport, funded by European Social Fund.
Academy of Finland Grant Number: 318927
Detailed Information: 318927 (Academy of Finland Funding decision)
Copyright information: © 2019 Copyright held by the owner/author(s). Publication rights licensed to ACM. This is the author's version of the work. It is posted here for your personal use. Not for redistribution. The definitive Version of Record was published in 14th International Conference on Availability, Reliability and Security, ARES 2019,