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Due to the poor physical protection of sensor nodes, it is generally assumed that an adversary can capture and compromise a small number of sensors in the network. In a node replication attack, an adversary can take advantage of the credentials of a compromised node to surreptitiously introduce replicas of that node into the network. Without an effective and efficient detection mechanism, these replicas can be used to launch a variety of attacks that undermine many sensor applications and protocols. In this paper, we present a novel distributed approach called Localized Multicast for detecting node replication attacks. The efficiency and security of our approach are evaluated both theoretically and via simulation. Our results show that, compared to previous distributed approaches proposed by Parno et al., Localized Multicast is more efficient in terms of communication and memory costs in large-scale sensor networks, and at the same time achieves a higher probability of detecting node replicas.
Date of Publication: July 2010