Cognitive radio is a promising technology aiming to improve the utilization of the radio electromagnetic spectrum. A cognitive radio device uses general purpose computer processors that run radio applications software to perform signal processing. The use of this software enables the device to sense and understand its environment and actively change its mode of operation based on its observations. Unfortunately, this solution entails new security challenges. Our objective in this paper is to analyze the security issues of the main recent developments and architectures of cognitive radio networks. We present vulnerabilities inherent to those systems, identify novel types of abuse, classify attacks, and analyze their impact on the operation of cognitive radio-based systems. Moreover, we discuss and propose security solutions to mitigate such threats. Copyright © 2010 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.
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