Skip to Main Content
Wireless sensor networks are built upon a shared medium that makes it easy for adversaries to conduct radio interference, or jamming, attacks that effectively cause a denial of service of either transmission or reception functionalities. These attacks can easily be accomplished by an adversary by either bypassing MAC-layer protocols or emitting a radio signal targeted at jamming a particular channel. In this article we survey different jamming attacks that may be employed against a sensor network. In order to cope with the problem of jamming, we discuss a two-phase strategy involving the diagnosis of the attack, followed by a suitable defense strategy. We highlight the challenges associated with detecting jamming. To cope with jamming, we propose two different but complementary approaches. One approach is to simply retreat from the interferer which may be accomplished by either spectral evasion (channel surfing) or spatial evasion (spatial retreats). The second approach aims to compete more actively with the interferer by adjusting resources, such as power levels and communication coding, to achieve communication in the presence of the jammer.
Date of Publication: May-June 2006