Set Difference Attacks in Wireless Sensor Networks

  • Tulio de Souza
  • Joss Wright
  • Piers O’Hanlon
  • Ian Brown
Part of the Lecture Notes of the Institute for Computer Sciences, Social Informatics and Telecommunications Engineering book series (LNICST, volume 106)


We show that existing proposed mechanisms for preserving the privacy of reported data values in wireless sensor networks are vulnerable against a simple and practical form of attack: the set difference attack. These attacks are particularly effective where a number of separate applications are running in a given network, but are not limited to this case. We demonstrate the feasibility of these attacks and assert that they cannot, in general, be avoided whilst maintaining absolute accuracy of sensed data. As an implication of this, we suggest a mechanism based on perturbation of sensor results whereby these attacks can be partially mitigated.


privacy privacy-preserving wireless sensor network data perturbation differential privacy privacy-preserving data aggregation 


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Copyright information

© ICST Institute for Computer Science, Social Informatics and Telecommunications Engineering 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  • Tulio de Souza
    • 1
  • Joss Wright
    • 2
  • Piers O’Hanlon
    • 2
  • Ian Brown
    • 2
  1. 1.Department of Computer ScienceUniversity of OxfordUK
  2. 2.Oxford Internet InstituteUniversity of OxfordUK

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