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Security challenges in wireless sensor networks

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  1. Introduction
  2. Sensor network architecture and requirements
  3. Security requirements
  4. Obstacles of sensor security
  5. Security issues and solutions
  6. Conclusion
  7. References

Wireless sensor networks (WSNs) are wireless ad hoc networks of tiny sensor nodes. As a result of advances in sensor technology and wireless communication, sensor networks have emerged as an indispensable and important new tool for multiple civilian and military applications, including patient monitoring, wildlife monitoring, battlefield surveillance, enemy tracking, tracking contamination in hazardous environments, habitat monitoring in the nature preserves, traffic monitoring, surveillance of buildings, ecological and health related areas. Security is therefore important in WSNs. Wireless Sensor Networks are extremely vulnerable against any kind of internal or external attacks, due to several factors such as low computation capability, small memory, resource-constrained nodes and lack of tamper-resistant packages, limited energy resources, susceptibility to physical capture. These constraints make security challenging in WSNs. Keywords: Wireless Sensor Networks (Wsns), Sensor, Security, Impersonation , Eavesdropping, Denial- Of-Service Attacks

[...] We assume that locally sensor nodes have a transmission range of approximately 100 meters .In order to support ad hoc networking, we assume that the assignment of gateway nodes is determined at deployment and can be supported by any node in the network. Gateway nodes may contact relay points that transmit the signal even further (e.g., over a satellite link). Memory Sensor processors require different types of memory to perform various processing functions. ROM or EPROM is needed for storing the general purpose programming such as an embedded operation system, security functions, and basic networking capability. [...]

[...] key distribution, therefore it is extremely important to build a secure channel in a wireless sensor network. Public sensor information, such as sensor identities and public keys, should also be encrypted to some extent to protect against traffic analysis attacks. The standard approach for keeping sensitive data secret is to encrypt the data with a secret key that only intended receivers possess, thus achieving confidentiality. Integrity: Ensures that a message sent from one node to another is not modified by malicious intermediate nodes. [...]

[...] These networks are usually deployed in uncontrollable environments that are not trustworthy. In addition to common threats in wireless networks, e.g. information disclosure, message injection, and replay attacks, sensor networks are physically accessible and consequently more vulnerable. An attacker may capture and compromise a node and thus be able to control a valid member of the network. Furthermore, a variety of Denial of Service attacks are possible in sensor networks. In this scenario, any protocol, architecture or application which is not developed with security in mind is hardly useful. [...]

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