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Wormhole attack is a severe threat to wireless ad hoc and sensor networks. Most existing countermeasures either require specialized hardware devices or make strong assumptions on the network in order to capture the specific (partial) symptom induced by wormholes. Those requirements and assumptions limit the applicability of previous approaches. In this paper, we present our attempt to understand the impact and inevitable symptom of wormholes and develop distributed detection methods by making as few restrictions and assumptions as possible. We fundamentally analyze the wormhole problem using a topology methodology and propose an effective distributed approach, which relies solely on network connectivity information, without any requirements on special hardware devices or any rigorous assumptions on network properties. We formally prove the correctness of this design in continuous geometric domains and extend it into discrete domains. We evaluate its performance through extensive simulations.
Date of Publication: Dec. 2011