Date: 29 Sep 2011

A Distributed Scheme to Detect Wormhole Attacks in Mobile Wireless Sensor Networks

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Abstract

Due to mostly being unattended, sensor nodes become open to physical attacks such as wormhole attack, which is our focus in this paper. Various solutions are proposed for wormhole attacks in sensor networks, but only a few of them take mobility of sensor nodes into account. We propose a distributed wormhole detection scheme for mobile wireless sensor networks in which mobility of sensor nodes is utilized to estimate two network features (i.e. network node density, standard deviation in network node density) through using neighboring information in a local manner. Wormhole attack is detected via observing anomalies in the neighbor nodes’ behaviors based on the estimated network features and the neighboring information. We analyze the performance of proposed scheme via simulations. The results show that our scheme achieves a detection rate up to 100% with very small false positive rate (at most 1.5%) if the system parameters are chosen accordingly. Moreover, our solution requires neither additional hardware nor tight clock synchronization which are both costly for sensor networks.