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Wireless Sensor Networks (WSNs) are widely recognized as a promising solution to build next-generation monitoring systems. Their industrial uptake is however still compromised by the low level of trust on their performance and dependability. Whereas analytical models represent a valid mean to assess nonfunctional properties via simulation, their wide use is still limited by the complexity and dynamicity of WSNs, which lead to unaffordable modeling costs. This paper proposes an approach to characterize the resiliency of the software of WSN software to failures. The focus is in providing a procedure and related tools to assess i) how the node software, hardware platforms, topology and routing protocols impact on the failure behavior of nodes and and of the network, and, vice-versa, ii) how the failure of a node mutates the behavior of the running software and routing protocol. The approach adopts a software characterization process which is based on i) Failure Mode and Effect Analysis, ii) automated fault injection experiments, iii) high-level description of the fault tolerant mechanisms of WSN software in a proposed framework.