IEEE Transactions on Mobile Computing

IEEE Transactions on Mobile Computing (TMC) is a scholarly archival journal published monthly that focuses on the key technical issues related to Mobile Computing. It is the intent of TMC to publish mature works of research, typically those that have appeared in part in conferences. Furthermore, it is the intent of TMC to focus on issues at the link-layer and above in wireless communications, and to focus only on topics explicitly or plausibly related to mobile systems. Read the full scope of TMC

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From the September 2016 issue

On the Evolution and Impact of Mobile Botnets in Wireless Networks

By Zhuo Lu, Wenye Wang, and Cliff Wang

featured article thumbnailA botnet in mobile networks is a collection of compromised nodes due to mobile malware, which are able to perform coordinated attacks. Different from Internet botnets, mobile botnets do not need to propagate using centralized infrastructures, but can keep compromising vulnerable nodes in close proximity and evolving organically via data forwarding. Such a distributed mechanism relies heavily on node mobility as well as wireless links, therefore it breaks down the underlying premise in existing epidemic modeling for Internet botnets. In this paper, we adopt a stochastic approach to study the evolution and impact of mobile botnets. We find that node mobility can be a trigger to botnet propagation storms: the average size (i.e., number of compromised nodes) of a botnet increases quadratically over time if the mobility range that each node can reach exceeds a threshold; otherwise, the botnet can only contaminate a limited number of nodes with average size always bounded above. This also reveals that mobile botnets can propagate at the fastest rate of quadratic growth in size, which is substantially slower than the exponential growth of Internet botnets. To measure the denial-of-service impact of a mobile botnet, we define a new metric, called last chipper time, which is the last time that service requests, even partially, can still be processed on time as the botnet keeps propagating and launching attacks. The last chipper time is identified to decrease at most on the order of $1/\sqrt{B}$ , where $B$ is the network bandwidth. This result reveals that although increasing network bandwidth can help mobile services, it can, at the same time, indeed escalate the risk of services being disrupted by mobile botnets.

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Editorials and Announcements


  • We are pleased to announce that Marwan Krunz, the Kenneth VonBehren Endowed Professor in the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering at the University of Arizona, USA, has been named the new Editor-in-Chief of the IEEE Transactions on Mobile Computing starting in 2017.
  • According to Thomson Reuters' 2013 Journal Citation Report, TMC has an impact factor of 2.912.
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TMC is a joint publication of the:

IEEE Computer SocietyIEEE Circuits and Systems Society IEEE Comunications Society IEEE Signal Processing Society


TMC is published in cooperation with: IEEE Electromagnetic Compatibility Society, IEEE Engineering in Medicine and Biology Society, IEEE Technology Management Council, IEEE Information Theory Society, IEEE Instrumentation and Measurement Society, IEEE Power & Energy Society, IEEE Robotics and Automation Society, and IEEE Systems, Man, and Cybernetics Society

TMC is indexed in ISI

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