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The wireless nature and inherent features of mobile ad hoc networks make them vulnerable to a wide variety of attacks. In an internal attack, the attacker gains the normal access to the network and takes part in the network activities, either by some malicious impersonation to get the access to the network as a new node, or by directly compromising a current node and using it as a basis to conduct its malicious behaviors. In this paper, the authors develop a cluster based authentication technique to mitigate the internal attacks. The entire network is divided into hierarchical group of clusters, each cluster having a fully trusted cluster head. Each node holds a certificate issued by an offline Certificate Authority (CA).
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