Wireless Sensor Network Security Attacks: A Survey

Wireless Sensor Network Security Attacks: A Survey

Dennis P. Mirante (Hofstra University, USA) and Habib M. Ammari (University of Michigan – Dearborn, USA)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-4666-0161-1.ch007


Wireless Sensor Networks (WSNs) are a rapidly growing area for research and commercial development. Originally used in military applications, their commercialization offers potential low cost solutions for real-world monitoring and process control. Since they may be deployed in hostile, unattended, environments and may collect sensitive data, they may be prone to attack by entities that wish to interfere with their operation and/or usurp or alter the information they collect. While their low cost enhances their desirability as a monitoring solution, it also presents inherent resource and computing constraints. These constraints are major obstacles for the implementation of traditional security paradigms. Consequently, one of the most active areas of research in Wireless Sensor Networks is security. This chapter takes a representative survey of the types of security attacks WSNs may be subjected to. Additionally, steps that may be taken to mitigate these attacks are also discussed. Intrusion Detection Systems, a paradigm for monitoring network activities for malicious behavior, are introduced, and specific examples of them are discussed.
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Characteristics Of Wireless Sensor Networks Affecting Security

The driving force behind sensor node construction is cost. Node designers strive to limit sensor node cost, and in doing so, implicitly place corresponding limitations on the node's resources. Thus, there are restraints on the node's computational capabilities, memory, communications bandwidth and range, and energy source. These factors greatly impact the security algorithms and features that may be implemented.

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