Securing Communication Trees in Sensor Networks

  • Tassos D. Dimitriou
Conference paper
Part of the Lecture Notes in Computer Science book series (LNCS, volume 4240)


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 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.


  1. 1.
    Karlof, C., Wagner, D.: Secure routing in wireless sensor networks: Attacks and countermeasures. Elsevier’s Ad Hoc Network Journal, Special Issue on Sensor Network Applications and Protocols 1, 293–315 (2003)Google Scholar
  2. 2.
    Ni, S.Y., Tseng, Y.C., Chen, Y.S.: The broadcast storm problem in a mobile ad hoc network. In: Proceedings of the ACM/IEEE International Conference on Mobile Computing and Networking (MOBICOM), pp. 151–162 (1999)Google Scholar
  3. 3.
    Wieselthier, J.E., Nguyen, G.D., Ephremides, A.: On the construction of energy-efficient broadcast and multicast trees in wireless networks. In: Proceedings of IEEE INFOCOM, pp. 589–594 (April 2000)Google Scholar
  4. 4.
    Stojmenovic, I., Seddigh, M., Zunic, J.D.: Dominating sets and neighbor elimination-based broadcasting algorithms in wireless networks. IEEE Trans. Parallel Distrib. Syst. (2002)Google Scholar
  5. 5.
    Chang, M., Liu, N.: Optimal controlled flooding search in a large wireless network. In: Proc. 3rd Inter. Symposium on Modeling and Optimization in Mobile, Ad Hoc and Wireless Networks (2005)Google Scholar
  6. 6.
    Sadagopan, N., Krishnamachari, B., Helmy, A.: The ACQUIRE mechanism for efficient querying in sensor networks. In: IEEE International Workshop on Sensor Network Protocols and Applications (SNPA 2003) (May 2003)Google Scholar
  7. 7.
    Intanagonwiwat, C., Govindan, R., Estrin, D., Heidemann, J., Silva, F.: Directed diffusion for wireless sensor networking. ACM/IEEE Transactions on Networking 11 (February 2002)Google Scholar
  8. 8.
    Krishnamachari, B., Estrin, D., Wicker, S.: Modeling Data Centric Routing in Wireless Sensor Networks. In: Proceedings of IEEE INFOCOM, New York, NY (June 2002)Google Scholar
  9. 9.
    Yao, Y., Gehrke, J.: The cougar approach to in-network query processing in sensor networks. In: SIGMOD Record (September 2002)Google Scholar
  10. 10.
    Heinzelman, W., Kulik, J., Balakrishnan, H.: Adaptive protocols for information dissemination in wireless sensor networks. In: Proceedings of the 5th Annual ACM/IEEE International Conference on Mobile Computing and Networking (MobiCom 1999), Seattle, WA (August 1999)Google Scholar
  11. 11.
    Schurgers, C., Srivastava, M.B.: Energy efficient routing in wireless sensor networks. In: MILCOM Proceedings on Communications for Network-Centric Operations: Creating the Information Force, McLean, VA (2001)Google Scholar
  12. 12.
    Akkaya, K., Younis, M.: A Survey on Routing Protocols for Wireless Sensor Networks. Journal of Ad Hoc NetworksGoogle Scholar
  13. 13.
    Perrig, A., Szewczyk, R., Wen, V., Culler, D., Tygar, J.: SPINS: Security Protocols for Sensor Networks. In: Proc.of 7th Annual ACM Mobicom (2001)Google Scholar
  14. 14.
    Dimitriou, T.D., Krontiris, I.: Autonomic Communication Security in Sensor Networks. In: Stavrakakis, I., Smirnov, M. (eds.) WAC 2005. LNCS, vol. 3854, pp. 141–152. Springer, Heidelberg (2006)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. 15.
    Carman, D., Kruus, P., Matt, B.J.: Constraints and approaches for distributed sensor network security. Tech. Rep. 00-010, NAI Labs (June 2000)Google Scholar
  16. 16.
    Eschenauer, L., Gligor, V.D.: A key-management scheme for distributed sensor networks. In: Proceedings of the 9th ACM conference on Computer and communications security, pp. 41–47 (2002)Google Scholar
  17. 17.
    Chan, H., Perrig, A., Song, D.: Random key predistribution schemes for sensor networks. In: IEEE Symposium on Security and Privacy, pp. 197–213 (May 2003)Google Scholar
  18. 18.
    Zhu, S., Setia, S., Jajodia, S.: LEAP: efficient security mechanisms for large-scale distributed sensor networks. In: Proceedings of the 10th ACM CCS, pp. 62–72 (October 2003)Google Scholar
  19. 19.
    Dimitriou, T., Krontiris, I.: A Localized, Distributed Protocol for Secure Information Exchange in Sensor Networks. In: Proc. of the 5th IEEE Inter. Workshop on Algorithms for Wireless, Mobile, Ad Hoc and Sensor Networks (2005)Google Scholar
  20. 20.
    Dimitriou, T.: Efficient Mechanisms for Secure Inter-node and Aggregation Processing in Sensor Network. In: 4th International Conference on Adhoc Networks and Wireless-ADHOC NOW (2005)Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2006

Authors and Affiliations

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

Personalised recommendations