Distributed Detection of Wormhole Attacks in Wireless Sensor Networks

  • Rennie de Graaf
  • Islam Hegazy
  • Jeffrey Horton
  • Reihaneh Safavi-Naini
Part of the Lecture Notes of the Institute for Computer Sciences, Social Informatics and Telecommunications Engineering book series (LNICST, volume 28)


Sensors in a wireless sensor network depend on their neighbours to route their messages. Yet, routing protocols in wireless sensor network are vulnerable to different types of attacks. In this paper, we consider the wormhole attack in which the adversary diverts traffic from one part of the network to another part by introducing a low cost tunnel between the two parts. We introduce a distributed intrusion detection system that monitors the communication in the network and propose a criterion for the placement of intrusion detection nodes. The intrusion detection system searches for violations of that criterion to detect wormholes of length above a certain minimum value. We evaluate the effectiveness of our system in a simulated environment. The experiments show that our system can detect 100% of the wormholes that are beyond the communication range of the intrusion detection nodes. Finally, we discuss our results and show directions for future work.


Security Intrusion detection Wormholes Wireless sensor networks Distributed systems 


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Copyright information

© ICST Institute for Computer Science, Social Informatics and Telecommunications Engineering 2010

Authors and Affiliations

  • Rennie de Graaf
    • 1
  • Islam Hegazy
    • 1
  • Jeffrey Horton
    • 2
  • Reihaneh Safavi-Naini
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Computer ScienceUniversity of CalgaryCalgaryCanada
  2. 2.Computer Science and Software EngineeringUniversity of WollongongWollongongAustralia

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