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The protection of critical infrastructures provides an interesting application area for wireless sensor networks. Threats such as natural catastrophes, criminal or terrorist attacks against CIs are increasingly reported. The large-scale nature of CIs requires a scalable and low-cost technology for improving CI monitoring and surveillance. WSNs are a promising candidate to fulfill these requirements, but if the WSN becomes part of the CI in order to improve its reliability, then the dependability of the WSN itself needs to be significantly improved first. In this article we discuss the challenges and potential solutions to achieve dependability of WSNs taking into account accidental failures as well as intentional attacks. We inspect the whole system starting from individual sensor nodes via the protocol stack to the middleware layer above.
Date of Publication: October 2010