Document Type

Article

Date

2007

Embargo Period

1-19-2012

Keywords

Broadcast authentication, Sensor networks, Public Key Cryptography, PKC, Denial of Service attacks, DoS

Language

English

Disciplines

Computer Sciences

Description/Abstract

Broadcast authentication is an important application in sensor networks. Public Key Cryptography (PKC) is desirable for this application, but due to the resource constraints on sensor nodes, these operations are expensive, which means sensor networks using PKC are susceptible to Denial of Service (DoS) attacks: attackers keep broadcasting bogus messages, which will incur extra costs, thus exhaust the energy of the honest nodes. In addition, the long time to verify each message using PKC increases the response time of the nodes; it is impractical for the nodes to validate each incoming message before forwarding it. In this paper we discuss this type of DoS attacks, in which the goal of the adversary is to exhaust the energy of the sensor nodes and to increase their response time to broadcast messages. We then present a dynamic window scheme, where sensor nodes determine whether first to verify a message or first to forward the message by themselves. This is made possible with the information such as how far this node is away from the malicious attacker, and how many hops the incoming message has passed. We compare the performance of the proposed scheme with other schemes, and show that it can contain the damage of DoS attacks to only a small portion of the sensor nodes.

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