Security for Wireless Sensor Networks – Configuration Aid

  • Thomas Newe
  • Victor Cionca
  • David Boyle
Part of the Lecture Notes in Electrical Engineering book series (LNEE, volume 64)


The range of application scenarios for which WSN technology is suitable implies a number of responsibilities. One of the most important responsibilities for researchers and designers has been the establishment of a means to secure both the network and the information sensed and disseminated within. In many cases the security of the application is vital to its successful deployment and usefulness. In order to understand what is necessary to properly secure a WSN implementation, all of the known threats to such a network must be identified and addressed. The stability and effectiveness of a WSN can be adversely affected through a number of attacks other than merely eavesdropping. There are also a number of various points at which an adversary can attempt to attack a network; such as at varying layers in the protocol stack. It is therefore necessary to consider all of the various attacks to which WSN’s are susceptible. These attacks can be broadly classified as attacks against the privacy of network data, denial-of-service (DOS), impersonation or replication attacks, routing attacks and physical attacks. The prevention of such attacks depends largely on the correct implementation/configuration of security protocols within the network itself. This configuration is a non-trivial task which can involve intensive knowledge of both security and WSN’s, which the user may not have. What the user does know however is how the network is used in the application and what data it carries. The decisions made to configure the necessary security can be constrained by the aforementioned user’s knowledge of the application space. Therefore by identifying a set of controlling parameters it should be possible to automate the security configuration process through the use of a configuration tool.


Sensor Network Wireless Sensor Network Data Security Malicious Node Security Protocol 
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.
    Cionca, V., Newe, T., Dadarlat, V.: A tool for the Security Configuration of Sensor Networks. In: Sensors and Their Applications XV, Edinburgh, UK (October 2009) (to appear)Google Scholar
  2. 2.
    The internet of Things. Technical report. International Telecommunication Union (2005) ISBN: 92-61-11291-9Google Scholar
  3. 3.
    Regulation (EC) No 460/2004 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 10, establishing the European Network and Information Security Agency (March 2004)Google Scholar
  4. 4.
    Sarma, H., Kar, A.: Security Threats in Wireless Sensor Networks. In: 2006 International Carnahan Conference on Security Technology, Kentucky, USA, October 16-20 (2006)Google Scholar
  5. 5.
    Newsome, J., Shi, E., Song, D., Perrig, A.: The Sybil Attack in Sensor Networks: Analysis and Defenses. In: Proceedings of the Third international Symposium on Information Processing in Sensor Networks, Berkeley, California, USA, April 26-27 (2004)Google Scholar
  6. 6.
    Walters, J.P., Liang, Z., Shi, W., Chaudhary, V.: Wireless Sensor Net-works Security: A Survey. In: Xiao, Y. (ed.) Security in Distributed, Grid and Perva-sive Computing, Aurbach Publications, ch. 17, CRC Press, Boca Raton (2006)Google Scholar
  7. 7.
    Buttyan, L., Dora, L., Vajda: Statistical Wormhole Detection in Sensor Networks. In: Molva, R., Tsudik, G., Westho, D. (eds.) Security and Privacy in Ad-hoc and Sensor Networks. LNCS, pp. 128–141. Springer, Heidelberg (2005)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. 8.
    Tun, Z., Maw, A.H.: Wormhole Attack Detection in Wireless Sensor Networks. In: Proceedings of World Academy of Science, Engineering and Technology, December 2008, vol. 36, pp. 549–554 (2008)Google Scholar
  9. 9.
    Hartung, C., Balasalle, J., Han, R.: Node Compromise in Sensor Networks: The Need for Secure Systems, Department of Computer Science, University of Colorado, Boulder, Technical Report CU-CS-988-04. Technical Report (2004)Google Scholar
  10. 10.
    Kerckhoffs, A.: La Cryptographie Militaire. Journal des sciences militaires IX (1883)Google Scholar
  11. 11.
    Shannon, C.E.: Communication theory of secrecy systems. Bell Systems Technical Journal 28, 656–715 (1949)zbMATHMathSciNetGoogle Scholar
  12. 12.
    Diffie, W., Hellman, M.: New directions in cryptography. IEEE Transactions on Information Theory 22(6), 644–654 (1976)zbMATHCrossRefMathSciNetGoogle Scholar
  13. 13.
    Stajano, F., Anderson, R.J.: The resurrecting duckling: Security issues for ad-hoc wireless networks. In: Proceedings of the 7th International Workshop on Security Protocols, London, UK, pp. 172–194. Springer, Heidelberg (2000)Google Scholar
  14. 14.
    Eschenauer, L., Gligor, V.D.: A key-management scheme for distributed sensor networks. In: CCS 2002: Proceedings of the 9th ACM conference on Computer and Communications Security, pp. 41–47. ACM, New York (2002)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. 15.
    Chan, H., Perrig, A., Song, D.: Random key predistribution schemes for sensor networks. In: SP 2003: Proceedings of the 2003 IEEE Symposium on Security and Privacy, Washington, DC, USA, p. 197. IEEE Computer Society, Los Alamitos (2003)Google Scholar
  16. 16.
    Blom, R.: An optimal class of symmetric key generation systems. In: Proc. of the EUROCRYPT 84 workshop on Advances in cryptology: theory and application of cryptographic techniques, pp. 335–338. Springer, New York, Inc. (1985)Google Scholar
  17. 17.
    Du, W., Deng, J., Han, Y.S., Varshney, P.K.: A pairwise key predistribution scheme for wireless sensor networks. In: CCS 2003: Proceedings of the 10th ACM conference on Computer and communications security, pp. 42–51. ACM, New York (2003)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. 18.
    Liu, D., Ning, P.: Establishing pairwise keys in distributed sensor networks. In: CCS 2003: Proceedings of the 10th ACM conference on Computer and communications security, pp. 52–61. ACM, New York (2003)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. 19.
    Zhu, S., Setia, S., Jajodia, S.: Leap: efficient security mechanisms for large-scale distributed sensor networks. In: CCS 2003: Proceedings of the 10th ACM conference on Computer and communications security, New York, NY, USA, pp. 62–72. ACM, New York (2003)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. 20.
    Chan, H., Perrig, A.: Pike: Peer Intermediaries for Key Establishment in sensor networks. In: Proceedings IEEE INFOCOM 2005. 24th Annual Joint Conference of the IEEE Computer and Communications Societies, March 13-17, vol. 1, pp. 524–535 (2005)Google Scholar
  21. 21.
    Malan, D., Welsh, M., Smith, M.: A public-key infrastructure for Key Distribution in TinyOS based on Elliptic Curve Cryptography. In: First IEEE International Conference on Sensor and Ad Hoc Communications and Networks (SECON), Santa Clara, CA, USA (October 2004),Google Scholar
  22. 22.
    Abi-Char, P.E., Mhamed, A., El-Hassan, B.: A fast and secure elliptic curve based authenticated key agreement protocol for low power mobile communications. In: The 2007 International Conference on Next Generation Mobile Applications, Services and Technologies, 2007. NGMAST 2007, 12-14 September, pp. 235–240 (2007)Google Scholar
  23. 23.
    Huang, Q., Cukier, J., Kobayashi, H., Liu, B., Zhang, J.: Fast authenticated key establishment protocols for self-organizing sensor networks. In: WSNA 2003: Proceedings of the 2nd ACM international conference on Wireless sensor networks and applications, pp. 141–150. ACM, New York (2003)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  24. 24.
    Wong, D.S., Chan, A.H.: Efficient and mutually authenticated key exchange for low power computing devices. In: ASIACRYPT 2001: Proceedings of the 7th International Conference on the Theory and Application of Cryptology and Information Security, London, UK, pp. 272–289. Springer, Heidelberg (2001)Google Scholar
  25. 25.
    Anderson, R., Chan, H., Perrig, A.: Key Infection: smart trust for smart dust. In: Proceedings of the 12th IEEE International Conference on Network Protocols ICNP 2004, October 2004, pp. 206–215 (2004)Google Scholar
  26. 26.
    Perrig, A., Szewczyk, R., Tygar, J.D., Wen, V., Culler, D.E.: Spins: Security Protocols for Sensor Networks. Wireless Networks 8(5), 521–534 (2002)zbMATHCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  27. 27.
    Karlof, C., Sastry, N., Wagner, D.: Tinysec: A Link Layer Security Architecture for Wireless Sensor Networks. In: SenSys 2004: Proceedings of the 2nd International Conference on Embedded Networked Sensor Systems, pp. 162–175. ACM, New York (2004)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  28. 28.
    SKIPJACK and KEA algorithm specifications. Technical report, U.S. National Security Agency (May 1998),
  29. 29.
    Luk, M., Mezzour, G., Perrig, A., Gligor, V.: Minisec: A Secure Sensor Network Communication Architecture. In: IPSN 2007: Proceedings of the 6th International Conference on Information Processing in Sensor Networks, pp. 479–488. ACM, New York (2007)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  30. 30.
    Perrig, A., Canetti, R., Tygar, J.D., Song, D.: Efficient Authentication and Signing of Multicast Streams over Lossy Channels. In: IEEE Symposium on Security and Privacy 2000, pp. 56–73 (2000)Google Scholar
  31. 31.
    Clark, J., Jacob, J.: A survey of authentication protocol literature (1997),
  32. 32.
    Panti, M., Spalazzi, L., Tacconi, S.: Attacks on cryptographic protocols: A survey. Technical report, Istituto di Informatica, University of Ancona, Ancona, Italy (October 2002)Google Scholar
  33. 33.
    ZigBee Alliance. Zigbee Specification (2007),
  34. 34.
    Liu, A., Ning, P.: TinyECC: A configurable library for elliptic curve cryptography in wireless sensor networks. In: International Conference on Information Processing in Sensor Networks IPSN 2008, April 2008, pp. 245–256 (2008)Google Scholar
  35. 35.
    Law, Y.W., Doumen, J., Hartel, P.: Survey and benchmark of block ciphers for wireless sensor networks. ACM Transactions on Sensor Networks 2(1), 65–93 (2006)CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2010

Authors and Affiliations

  • Thomas Newe
    • 1
  • Victor Cionca
    • 1
  • David Boyle
    • 1
  1. 1.University of LimerickLimerickRep. of Ireland

Personalised recommendations