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ThinkMind // International Journal On Advances in Software, volume 2, number 4, 2009 // View article soft_v2_n4_2009_5


Multi-level Security in Wireless Sensor Networks

Authors:
Faruk Bagci
Theo Ungerer
Nader Bagherzadeh

Keywords: wireless sensor network; security architecture; key management; energy efficiency; multi-path routing; en-route filtering

Abstract:
As the potential range of applications for sensor networks expands, the need for security mechanisms grows. Security relevant problems are limited mostly to areas such as key distribution and cryptographic algorithms, due to severe resource constraints in wireless sensor networks. Even if it is not possible to cover all threats, a security architecture for sensor networks should provide mechanisms on several levels, in order to maximize the obstacles for attackers. This paper presents SecSens, an architecture that provides basic security components for wireless sensor networks on multiple system levels. Since robust and strong security features require powerful nodes, SecSens uses a heterogeneous sensor network. In addition to a large number of simple (cheap) sensor nodes providing the actual sensor tasks, there are a few powerful nodes (cluster nodes) that implement the required security features. The basic component of SecSens offers authenticated broadcasts to allow recipients to authenticate the sender of a message. On the basis of this basic component, SecSens provides a key management, used for exchange of secret keys among nodes. In order to bind nodes to their neighborhood, keys and their owners are linked together. This ensures a certain grade of location relationship. To protect the Sensor network against routing attacks, SecSens includes a probabilistic multi-path routing protocol, which supports the key management and the authenticated broadcasts. SecSens also provides functions to detect forged sensor data by verifying data reports en-route. In order to evaluate the efficiency of our security architecture, we simulated different sizes of sensor networks. Furthermore, SecSens is successfully evaluated in a real test environment with two different kinds of sensor boards.

Pages: 349 to 358

Copyright: Copyright (c) to authors, 2009. Used with permission.

Publication date: March 17, 2010

Published in: journal

ISSN: 1942-2628

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