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Recent Advances in Attacks, Technical Challenges, Vulnerabilities and Their Countermeasures in Wireless Sensor Networks

Abstract

Advances in hardware manufacturing technology, wireless communications, micro electro-mechanical devices and information processing technologies enabled the development of WSNs. These consist of numerous, low cost, small sensor nodes powered by energy constrained batteries. WSNs have attracted much interest from both industry and academia due to its wide range of applications such as environment monitoring, battlefield awareness, medical healthcare, military investigation and home appliances management. Thus information in sensor network needs to be protected against various attacks. Attackers may employ various security threats making the WSN systems vulnerable and unstable. This paper examines the security threats and vulnerabilities imposed by the distinctive open nature of WSNs. We first summarize the requirements in WSNs that includes both the survivality and security issues. Next, a comprehensive survey of various routing and middleware challenges for wireless networks is presented. Next, paper explores the potential security threats at different protocol layers. Here various security attacks are identified along with their countermeasures that were investigated by different researchers in recent years. We also provide a detailed survey of data aggregation and the energy-efficient routing protocols for WSNS. And finally, few unsolved technical challenges and the future scope for WSN security has been outlined.

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Correspondence to Bharat Bhushan.

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Bhushan, B., Sahoo, G. Recent Advances in Attacks, Technical Challenges, Vulnerabilities and Their Countermeasures in Wireless Sensor Networks. Wireless Pers Commun 98, 2037–2077 (2018). https://doi.org/10.1007/s11277-017-4962-0

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Keywords

  • Wireless sensor networks (WSNs)
  • Security
  • Survivality
  • Middleware
  • MAC protocols
  • Sybil attack
  • Wormhole attack
  • Jamming attack
  • DoS attack
  • Security threats
  • Data aggregation and routing protocol