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Sensors 2018, 18(8), 2718; https://doi.org/10.3390/s18082718

Node-Identification-Based Secure Time Synchronization in Industrial Wireless Sensor Networks

1
Key Laboratory of Networked Control System, Shenyang Institute of Automation, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Shenyang 110016, China
2
University of Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing 100049, China
3
Department of Computer Science and Engineering, Shanghai Jiao Tong University, Shanghai 200240, China
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 6 July 2018 / Revised: 6 August 2018 / Accepted: 14 August 2018 / Published: 18 August 2018
(This article belongs to the Section Sensor Networks)
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Abstract

Time synchronization is critical for wireless sensors networks in industrial automation, e.g., event detection and process control of industrial plants and equipment need a common time reference. However, cyber-physical attacks are enormous threats causing synchronization protocols to fail. This paper studies the algorithm design and analysis in secure time synchronization for resource-constrained industrial wireless sensor networks under Sybil attacks, which cannot be well addressed by existing methods. A node-identification-based secure time synchronization (NiSTS) protocol is proposed. The main idea of this protocol is to utilize the timestamp correlation among different nodes and the uniqueness of a node’s clock skew to detect invalid information rather than isolating suspicious nodes. In the detection process, each node takes the relative skew with respect to its public neighbor as the basis to determine whether the information is reliable and to filter invalid information. The information filtering mechanism renders NiSTS resistant to Sybil attacks and message manipulation attacks. As a completely distributed protocol, NiSTS is not sensitive to the number of Sybil attackers. Extensive simulations were conducted to demonstrate the efficiency of NiSTS and compare it with existing protocols. View Full-Text
Keywords: time synchronization; industrial wireless sensor networks; security; Sybil attacks; message manipulation attacks; clock skew time synchronization; industrial wireless sensor networks; security; Sybil attacks; message manipulation attacks; clock skew
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This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. (CC BY 4.0).
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Wang, Z.; Zeng, P.; Kong, L.; Li, D.; Jin, X. Node-Identification-Based Secure Time Synchronization in Industrial Wireless Sensor Networks. Sensors 2018, 18, 2718.

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