Analysis of Version Number Attack using Multiple RPL Instances

Document Type

Conference Proceeding

Source of Publication

Proceedings of the 2023 12th International Conference on Networks, Communication and Computing

Publication Date



The Routing Protocol for Low-Power and Lossy Networks (RPL) has become the de facto routing scheme for Low-Rate Wireless Personal Area Networks (LR-WPANs). Attacks on networks are divided into two types: external attacks and internal attacks. RPL has security mechanisms to protect it against external attacks. However, it is still vulnerable to internal attacks. Version Number attack (VN) is an internal integrity attack caused by an insider node. Version Number attack modifies the DODAG Information Object (DIO) control messages. The version number is a field in the DIO control message that announces to the nodes that the DODAG tree is updated and keeps the network from an obsolete state. The root node only updates the version number by incrementing the current value by one. The standard RPL uses a single RPL instance. In this work, a modification to the RPL architecture is performed to support multiple instances and to examine the effect and the behavior of the multi-instances RPL under the version number attack. Extensive experiments were conducted under Contiki OS and Cooja simulator to evaluate the performance of the suggested approach. Packet Delivery Ratio (PDR) was used as the primary network performance metric for various network topologies. Using MRHOF or mixed objective functions improved the packet delivery ratio by about 60-65% in most of the cases.





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Computer Sciences


RPL, Version Number attack, LR-WPANs, Contiki OS, Cooja simulator

Indexed in Scopus


Open Access


Open Access Type

Bronze: This publication is openly available on the publisher’s website but without an open license