A Hierarchical Detection and Response System to Enhance Security Against Lethal Cyber-Attacks in UAV Networks

Hichem Sedjelmaci, Sidi Mohammed Senouci, Nirwan Ansari

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

163 Scopus citations


Unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) networks have not yet received considerable research attention. Specifically, security issues are a major concern because such networks, which carry vital information, are prone to various attacks. In this paper, we design and implement a novel intrusion detection and response scheme, which operates at the UAV and ground station levels, to detect malicious anomalies that threaten the network. In this scheme, a set of detection and response techniques are proposed to monitor the UAV behaviors and categorize them into the appropriate list (normal, abnormal, suspect, and malicious) according to the detected cyber-attack. We focus on the most lethal cyber-attacks that can target an UAV network, namely, false information dissemination, GPS spoofing, jamming, and black hole and gray hole attacks. Extensive simulations confirm that the proposed scheme performs well in terms of attack detection even with a large number of UAVs and attackers since it exhibits a high detection rate, a low number of false positives, and prompt detection with a low communication overhead.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number7890467
Pages (from-to)1594-1606
Number of pages13
JournalIEEE Transactions on Systems, Man, and Cybernetics: Systems
Issue number9
StatePublished - Sep 2018

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Software
  • Control and Systems Engineering
  • Human-Computer Interaction
  • Computer Science Applications
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering


  • Anomaly detection and rules-based intrusion detection techniques
  • cyber-attacks
  • intrusion detection system (IDS)
  • unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs)


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