A node replication attack against a wireless sensor network involves surreptitious efforts by an adversary to insert duplicate sensor nodes into the network while avoiding detection. Due to the lack of tamper-resistant hardware and the low cost of sensor nodes, launching replication attacks takes little effort to carry out. Naturally, detecting these replica nodes is a very important task and has been studied extensively. In this paper, we propose a novel distributed, randomized sensor duplicate detection algorithm called Discard to detect node replicas in group-deployed wireless sensor networks. Our protocol is an epidemic, self-organizing duplicate detection scheme, which exhibits emergent properties. Epidemic schemes have found diverse applications in distributed computing: load balancing, topology management, audio and video streaming, computing aggregate functions, failure detection, network and resource monitoring, to name a few. To the best of our knowledge, our algorithm is the first attempt at exploring the potential of this paradigm to detect replicas in a wireless sensor network. Through analysis and simulation, we show that our scheme achieves robust replica detection with substantially lower communication, computational and storage requirements than prior schemes in the literature.
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