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State of the art on defenses against wormhole attacks in wireless sensor networks

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3 Author(s)
Giannetsos, T. ; Athens Inf. Technol., Athens, Greece ; Dimitriou, T. ; Prasad, N.R.

As pervasive interconnection of autonomous sensor devices gave birth to a broad class of exiting new applications, security emerges as a central requirement. Wireless sensor networks are vulnerable to attacks as they are frequently deployed in open and unattended environments. In this paper, we describe the wormhole attack, a severe routing attack against sensor networks that is particularly challenging to defend against. We detail its characteristics and study its effects on the successful operation of a sensor network. We present state-of-the-art research for addressing wormhole related problems in wireless sensor networks and discuss the relative strengths and shortcomings of the proposed solutions. To date, most of the proposed defenses focus on preventive mechanisms that can be applied to protect sensor networks from this kind of attacks. However, no work has been published regarding the possibility of using more sophisticated methods, like intrusion detection systems, to achieve a more complete and autonomic defense mechanism against wormhole attackers. We present our work on intrusion detection and introduce a lightweight IDS framework, called LIDeA, designed for wireless sensor networks. LIDeA is based on a distributed architecture, in which nodes overhear their neighboring nodes and collaborate with each other in order to successfully detect an intrusion. We conclude by highlighting how such a system can be used for defending against wormhole attackers.

Published in:

Wireless Communication, Vehicular Technology, Information Theory and Aerospace & Electronic Systems Technology, 2009. Wireless VITAE 2009. 1st International Conference on

Date of Conference:

17-20 May 2009