Cryptology ePrint Archive: Report 2008/293

Maximizing data survival in Unattended Wireless Sensor Networks against a focused mobile adversary

Roberto Di Pietro and Luigi V. Mancini and Claudio Soriente and Angelo Spognardi and Gene Tsudik

Abstract: Some sensor network settings involve disconnected or unattended operation with periodic visits by a mobile sink. An unattended sensor network operating in a hostile environment can collect data that represents a high-value target for the adversary. Since an unattended sensor can not immediately off-load sensed data to a safe external entity (such as a sink), the adversary can easily mount a focused attack aiming to erase or modify target data. To maximize chances of data survival, sensors must collaboratively attempt to mislead the adversary and hide the location, the origin and the contents of collected data. In this paper, we focus on applications of well-known security techniques to maximize chances of data survival in unattended sensor networks, where sensed data can not be off-loaded to a sink in real time. Our investigation yields some interesting insights and surprising results. The highlights of our work are: (1) thorough exploration of the data survival challenge, (2) exploration of the design space for possible solutions, (3) construction of several practical and effective techniques, and (4) their evaluation.

Category / Keywords: applications / Unattended-WSN, mobile adversary, data survival, security

Date: received 30 Jun 2008, last revised 6 Nov 2008

Contact author: angelo spognardi at inrialpes fr

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Version: 20081106:123825 (All versions of this report)

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