This article proposes a protocol layer trust-based intrusion detection scheme for wireless sensor networks. Unlike existing work, the trust value of a sensor node is evaluated according to the deviations of key parameters at each protocol layer considering the attacks initiated at different protocol layers will inevitably have impacts on the parameters of the corresponding protocol layers. For simplicity, the paper mainly considers three aspects of trustworthiness, namely physical layer trust, media access control layer trust and network layer trust. The per-layer trust metrics are then combined to determine the overall trust metric of a sensor node. The performance of the proposed intrusion detection mechanism is then analyzed using the t-distribution to derive analytical results of false positive and false negative probabilities. Numerical analytical results, validated by simulation results, are presented in different attack scenarios. It is shown that the proposed protocol layer trust-based intrusion detection scheme outperforms a state-of-the-art scheme in terms of detection probability and false probability, demonstrating its usefulness for detecting cross-layer attacks.
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