Secure Adaptive Routing Protocol for Wireless Sensor Networks

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The Problem

The need for secure routing in Wireless Sensor Networks (WSNs) arises from the recent success of WSNs in order to provide low-cost/high-benefit situational awareness but the lack of a holistic routing solution to integrate WSNs with security solutions. Wireless sensor networks are more prone to security vulnerabilities than wired networks due to their broadcast nature. Furthermore, since WSNs are comprised of tiny limited sensor nodes, they are even more prone to security attacks such as physical tampering and eavesdropping. However an attempt to deploy even more security is impeded by the inherent limitations of WSN nodes.


We have developed a secure adaptive routing protocol for WSNs that uses a concept of trust to determine the most secure route from a node collecting data to a base station that can analyze the data. This solution provides a distributed, dynamic, efficient tree-based routing algorithm that uses multi-dimensional trust-metrics in order to find the most trusted paths. We have integrated the routing algorithm with our trust framework, including how new routes are formed, avoiding the suspected nodes (less trusted nodes). We have also developed an implementation of defenses against representative attacks including selective forwarding and intentional loop creation.


Through simulations and a small 8-mote proof-of-concept system we demonstrated the ability of our solution to provide trusted, efficient delivery of data from the sensor field to the base station. This work has been published in a technical report: L. DiPippo, Y. Sun, K. Rahn Jr., R. Anachi, O. Savas, Secure Adaptive Routing Protocol for Wireless Sensor Networks, University of Rhode Island Department of Computer Science Technical Report, TR10-329, March 2010.


This work was supported by a subcontract from mZeal Communications, Inc. through Air Force Research Laboratory contract AF083-171 / F083-171-0678.