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A wireless sensor network (WSN) typically consists of a large number of resource constrained sensor nodes. Wireless sensor networks are developed for deployment at locations without infrastructure support which may provide a solution to many applications. WSNs are mostly unguarded and the wireless medium is broadcast. This makes them more vulnerable to attacks. Without proper security measures, an enemy can launch various kinds of attacks in hostile environments. These attacks can disrupt the normal working of WSNs and can defeat the purpose of their deployment. Therefore security is an important aspect of these networks. Preventive mechanisms can be applied to protect WSNs against some types of attacks. However, there are some attacks for which there are no known prevention methods. For these cases, it is necessary to use some mechanism of intrusion detection. In this paper we present a distributed intrusion detection system (IDS) based on mobile agent technology that fits the demands and restrictions of WSNs.