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We analyze the security vulnerabilities of PEAS, ASCENT, and CCP, three well-known topology maintenance protocols (TMPs) for sensor networks. These protocols aim to increase the lifetime of the sensor network by only maintaining a subset of nodes in an active or awake state. The design of these protocols assumes that the sensor nodes will be deployed in a trusted, nonadversarial environment, and does not take into account the impact of attacks launched by malicious insider or outsider nodes. We propose a metaprotocol (Meta-TMP) to represent the class of topology maintenance protocols. The Meta-TMP provides us with a better understanding of the characteristics and of how a specific TMP works, and it can be used to study the vulnerabilities of a specific TMP. We describe various types of malicious behavior and actions that can be carried out by an adversary to attack a wireless sensor network by exploiting the TMP being used in the network. We describe three attacks against these protocols that may be used to reduce the lifetime of the sensor network, or to degrade the functionality of the sensor application by reducing the network connectivity and the sensing coverage that can be achieved. Further, we describe countermeasures that can be taken to increase the robustness of the protocols and make them resilient to such attacks.