In this work we present a protocol for securing communication trees in sensor networks. Communication trees can be used in a number of ways; to broadcast commands, to aggregate information or to route messages in the network. Broadcast trees are necessary for broadcasting information such as commands of maintenance packets from the base station to all sensors in the network. Aggregation trees are used in a complementary way to aggregate information collected by individual nodes so that meaningful summaries are presented to the base station, thus saving energy from unnecessary retransmissions. Alternatively, trees are constructed by many routing protocols, hence the security of these trees is important to prevent against many routing attacks.

In this work we demonstrate how to establish such trees in a secure and authenticated way. Our protocol is simple and efficient and furthermore enables changes to the tree structure due to failure of nodes or addition of new ones. Finally, it is resistant to a host of attacks that can be applied to sensor networks.


Sensor Network Sensor Node Message Authentication Code Beacon Message Hash Chain 


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2006

Authors and Affiliations

  • Tassos D. Dimitriou
    • 1
  1. 1.Athens Information TechnologyPeania, AthensGreece

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