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On the use of distributed relays to increase base station anonymity in Wireless Sensor Networks

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2 Author(s)
Ward, J.R. ; Dept. of Comput. Sci. & Electr. Eng., Univ. of Maryland, Baltimore, MD, USA ; Younis, M.

In recent years, Wireless Sensor Networks (WSNs) have become valuable assets to both the commercial and military communities with applications ranging from industrial control on a factory floor to reconnaissance of a hostile border. In both applications, the sensors act as data sources and forward information to a central sink or base station (BS). The unique role of the BS makes it a natural target for an adversary that desires to achieve the most impactful attack possible against a WSN with the least amount of effort. An adversary may employ traffic analysis techniques to identify the BS based on network traffic flow even when the WSN implements conventional security mechanisms. This motivates a significant need for improved BS anonymity to protect the identity, role, and location of the BS. In this paper we propose a strategy to increase BS anonymity in a WSN by utilizing multiple relays at each hop. Each relay retransmits received messages at an increased power level to increase the number of candidate receivers included in the adversary's analysis. We examine the effect of the distributed relay technique on improving BS anonymity using evidence theory and demonstrate the effectiveness of this approach through simulation.

Published in:

MILITARY COMMUNICATIONS CONFERENCE, 2012 - MILCOM 2012

Date of Conference:

Oct. 29 2012-Nov. 1 2012