Wireless Networks

, Volume 15, Issue 4, pp 431–441 | Cite as

Proactive mitigation of impact of wormholes and sinkholes on routing security in energy-efficient wireless sensor networks

  • Huzaifa Al NahasEmail author
  • Jitender S. Deogun
  • Eric D. Manley


Sensor networks are deployed in a variety of environments for unattended operation. In a hostile terrain, sensor nodes are vulnerable to node capture and cryptographic material compromise. Compromised nodes can be used for launching wormhole and sinkhole attacks in order to prevent sensitive data from reaching intended destinations. Our objective in this paper is mitigating the impact of undetected compromised nodes on routing. To this end, we develop metrics for quantifying risk of paths in a network. We then introduce a novel routing approach: Secure-Path Routing (SPR) that uses expected path risk as a parameter in routing. Quantified path risk values are used in routing to reduce traffic flow over nodes that have high expected vulnerability. Selecting low risk routes may lead to the choice of energy-expensive routes. Thus, we develop algorithms for balancing risk with other path selection parameters, including energy consumption. We conduct simulation experiments to evaluate the effectiveness of our approach and study the tradeoff between security and energy. Simulation shows that SPR can be quite effective at increasing traffic flow over legitimate routes and that the impact of SPR on network lifetime is negligible.


Sensor networks Secure routing Energy-efficiency Wormhole attacks 


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This work was supported in part by NSF EPSCoR under grant EPS- 0346476. The views and conclusions presented in this paper are those of the authors and should not be interpreted as necessarily representing the official opinions or policies, either expressed or implied, of NSF or the University of Nebraska-Lincoln.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2007

Authors and Affiliations

  • Huzaifa Al Nahas
    • 1
    Email author
  • Jitender S. Deogun
    • 1
  • Eric D. Manley
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Computer Science and EngineeringUniversity of Nebraska-LincolnLincolnUSA

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