wireless sensor networks

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an overview on its security threats


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Wireless Sensor Networks: An Overview on its Security Threats Mingku Roy C.S.E dept REVA Institute Of Technology And Management : 

Wireless Sensor Networks: An Overview on its Security Threats Mingku Roy C.S.E dept REVA Institute Of Technology And Management


1. INTRODUCTION Wireless sensor networks have become a growing area of research and development due to the tremendous number of applications that can greatly benefit from such systems and has lead to the development of tiny, cheap, disposable and self contained battery powered computers, known as sensor nodes , which can accept input from an attached sensor, process this input data and transmit the results wirelessly to the transit network. Despite making such sensor networks possible, the very wireless nature of the sensors presents a number of security threats when deployed for certain applications like military, surveillances etc .


2. APPLICATIONS OF WSN The military applications The Medical Application Industrial Applications Infrastructure Protection Application


3. TYPES OF ATTACKS ON WSN Attacks on WSNs can be classified from two different levels of views:- 1. Attack against security mechanisms 2. Attack against basic mechanisms (like routing mechanisms)

3.1 Denial of Service (DOS): 

3.1 Denial of Service (DOS) The simplest DOS attack tries to exhaust the resources available to the victim node, by sending extra unnecessary packets and thus prevents legitimate network users from accessing services or resources to which they are entitled.

DOS Attacks At Different Layers In Wireless Sensor Networks: 

DOS Attacks At Different Layers In Wireless Sensor Networks LAYERS EFFECTS At physical layer Jamming and Tampering At the Link layer Collision and exhaustion A t Network layer Misdirection and Black holes At Transport layer Desynchronizations

3.2 The Sybil attack: 

3.2 The Sybil attack In this attack, a single node i.e, a malicious node will appear to be a set of nodes and will send incorrect information to the nodes in the network. The incorrect information can be a variety of things, including position of nodes, signal strengths, making up nodes that do not exist. Authentication and encryption techniques can prevent an outsider to launch a Sybil attack on the sensor network. However, an insider cannot be prevented from participating in the network.

3.3 Selective Forwarding attack: 

3.3 Selective Forwarding attack It is a situation when certain nodes do not forward many of the messages they receive. The sensor networks depend on repeated forwarding by broadcast for messages to propagate throughout the network.

3.4 Passive Information Gathering: 

3.4 Passive Information Gathering An intruder with an appropriately powerful receiver and well designed antenna can easily pick off the data stream. Interception of the messages containing the physical locations of sensor nodes allows an attacker to locate the nodes and destroy them.

PowerPoint Presentation: 

3.5 False or Malicious Node Most of the attacks against security in wireless sensor networks are caused by the insertion of false information by the compromised nodes within the network. 3.6 Node Capturing A particular sensor might be captured, and information stored on it might be obtained by an adversary.



4.1 DOS prevention : 

4.1 DOS prevention The mechanisms to prevent DOS attacks include strong authentication and identification of incoming traffic. This mechanism ensures that an intruder cannot hijack an ongoing program transmission and perform a DOS attack.

4.2 Sybil prevention : 

4.2 Sybil prevention The mechanisms to prevent against Sybil attacks are to utilize identity certificates. The setup server, before deployment, assigns each sensor node some unique information. The server then creates an identity certificate binding this node’s identity to the assigned unique information, and downloads this information into the node.

4.3 Selective Forwarding attack prevention : 

4.3 Selective Forwarding attack prevention Multipath routing can be used to counter these types of selective forwarding attacks. Messages routed over paths whose nodes are completely disjoint are completely protected against selective forwarding attacks 4.4 Passive information gathering prevention To minimize the threats of passive information gathering, strong encryption techniques need to be used.

4.5 False or Malicious Node prevention : 

4.5 False or Malicious Node prevention This attack basically should be checked in the Routing layer itself. A strong encryption and proper authentication can be implemented to thwart this kind of attacks within the network.

4.6 Node capture prevention: 

4.6 Node capture prevention If a node has been compromised then how to exclude that node and that node only, from the sensor network is at issue. This issue is solved by Localized Encryption and Authentication protocol (LEAP). LEAP (localized encryption and authentication protocol) is an efficient protocol for inter-node traffic authentication.


5. CONCLUSION All of the previously mentioned security threats, the Hello flood attack, wormhole attack, Sybil attack, sinkhole attack, serve one common purpose, that is to compromise the integrity of the network they attack. We conclude that the defense mechanism presented, just gives guidelines about the WSN security threats; the exact solution depends on the type of application the WSN is deployed for.