Date of Award

Spring 1-1-2014

Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)

First Advisor

Douglas Sicker

Second Advisor

Jim Lansford

Third Advisor

Mark Dehus


With the scarcity of the wireless spectrum and the increasing demand of the bandwidth, regulators are pushing the implementation of Cognitive Radio Networks (CRNs), in which Cognitive Radio (CR) users can sense the spectrum, adapt its radiating parameters, and access the fallow spectrum in an opportunistic manner. CRNs are promising to improve the spectrum usage efficiency. TV white space is currently chosen to employ CRNs due to its spectrum underutilization and good transmission characters. Several standards have been proposed to deploy CRNs in TV white space, including IETF PAWS, IEEE 802.22, and 802.11af etc. However, before the full production of these standards, both the regulators and the spectrum holder had concerns about security. After analyzing the current mainstream TV white space (TVWS) standards, this paper identifies the security concerns on the PHY and MAC layer, which are mainly focused on the attacks produced by the CR technique. Then, potential security controls corresponding to the attacks are proposed. Finally, this paper highlights a number of open issues in secure CRN on TVWS and concludes.