Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Science


Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering

First Advisor

Rusty O. Baldwin, PhD


As wireless networks become an increasingly common part of the infrastructure in industrialized nations, the vulnerabilities of this technology need to be evaluated. Even though there have been major advancements in encryption technology, security protocols and packet header obfuscation techniques, other distinguishing characteristics do exist in wireless network traffic. These characteristics include packet size, signal strength, channel utilization and others. Using these characteristics, windows of size 11, 31, and 51 packets are collected and machine learning (ML) techniques are trained to classify applications accessing the 802.11b wireless channel. The four applications used for this study included E-Mail, FTP, HTTP, and Print. Using neural networks and decision trees, the overall success (correct identification of applications) of the ML systems ranged from a low average of 65.8% for neural networks to a high of 85.9% for decision trees. These averages are a result of all classification attempts including the case where only one application is accessing the medium and also the unique combinations of two and three different applications.

AFIT Designator


DTIC Accession Number