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Wormhole attack is a severe threat against wireless ad hoc and sensor networks. It can be launched without compromising any legitimate node or cryptographic mechanisms, and often serves as a stepping stone for many serious attacks. Most existing countermeasures often make critical assumptions or require specialized hardware devices in the network. Those assumptions and requirements limit the applicability of previous approaches. In this work, we explore the impact of wormhole attacks on network connectivity topologies, and develop a simple distributed method to detect wormholes, called WormCircle-. WormCircle relies solely on local connectivity information without any requirements on special hardware devices or making any rigorous assumptions on network properties. We establish the correctness of this design in continuous geometric domains and extend it into discrete networks. We evaluate the effectiveness in randomly deployed sensor networks through extensive simulations.
Date of Conference: 8-11 Dec. 2009