You are on page 1of 47

Prepared by:

Ahmed Mahgoub. Doaa Fathy Turky. Hatem Mohamed. Heba Ahmed Kamel.

Security in : Wireless Sensor Network

1 Fundamentals of Security Challenges of Security in WSN

3 Security Attacks and Defenses in WSN 4 5 WSN Security Protocols Conclusion

Fundamentals of Security Network security definition. Security Requirements. Security Attacks. Why Security is important in WSN? Traditional security mechanisms. Why we couldn't use these mechanisms in WSN?

Network security definition.

Network security is the collection of all policies, mechanisms, and services that afford a computer system or network the required protection from unauthorized access or unintended uses.

Security Requirements.
The main requirements:
Confidentiality: it means that data shouldn't be read from/by other networks. Integrity: Security mechanisms must ensure that a message cannot be modified as it propagates from the sender to the receiver. Availability: Security mechanisms must ensure that a system or network and its applications are able to perform their tasks at any time without interruption. 1 2 3 4 5

Security Requirements.
Additional Requirements:

Authentication: The source is authorized to send this message, it is necessary for many administrative tasks e.g. network reprogramming or controlling sensor nodes. Data Freshness: sensor measurements are time varying, so it should be ensured that data is fresh or not be an old data sent by any adversary.

Security Attacks.
Man in the middle (integrity)


Intended Receiver
Eavesdropping (Confidentiality)

Denial of Service (Availability)

Why Security is important in WSN?

Application domain

Potential security threats

Properties violated
C I x x x A

SA Denial of-service attacks by means of jamming and/or x confusion the networking protocols. Eavesdropping of classified information. Supply of misleading information, e.g. enemy movements in the East where in fact they are in the West.

Disaster Supply of misleading information, e.g. bogus disaster detection and warning, by pranksters, causing huge financial loss as a relief result of unnecessary large scale evacuation and deployment of relief equipments. SA=service availability, C=confidentiality, I=integrity ,A=authentication

Some Traditional Security Mechanisms.

Cryptography: this technique is used in traditional networks and not applicable in WSN because applying encryption required transmitting extra bits over the network, extra processing and memory. This also may increase delay and packet loss.

Steganography: covert communication by embedding a message into multimedia data, and it is not related to WSN applications directly.

Why we couldn't use these mechanisms in WSN?

The resource constraints in WSN make it impractical to use the majority of the current secure algorithms. Example: Asymmetric Cryptography - needs large memory to store the sufficient length key used to ensure security - cause large communication overhead (communication load 50-1000 bytes/packet)

Challenges of Security in WSN Resource constraints. Lack of central control. Remote location. Error-prone communication.

Resource constraints
Traditional security algorithms require a significant amount of memory, processing power, and transmission power, however the design of WSN usually decreased cost over increased capabilities (increasing network lifetime). Furthermore, attackers are not always limited by the same resource constraints as sensor nodes, an adversary might have virtually unlimited power supply, significant processing capabilities, and the capacity of higher power radio transmission)

Lack of central control

It is often infeasible to have a central point of control in WSN. Therefore, security solutions should be decentralized and nodes must collaborate to achieve security.

Remote location.
first line of defense against security attacks is to provide only controlled physical access to a sensor node. Many WSNs are left unattended which make it difficult to prevent unauthorized physical access.

Error-prone communication.
Packets in WSNs may be lost or corrupted due to a variety of reasons, including channel errors, routing failures, and collisions. This may interfere with some security mechanisms or their ability to obtain critical event reports.

3 Security Attacks and Defenses in WSN

Physical Layer DoS.
Jamming attack and its defense. Tampering attack and its defense.

Data link Layer DoS.

Collision attack. Exhaustion attack.

Attacks on Routing
Black /Sink hole attack. Selective forwarding attack. Sybil attack and its defense. Hello flooding attack. Homing attack. Wormhole attack.

Attacks on Transport layer.

SYN (synchronize) flood and its defense. Desynchronization attack and its defense.

Physical Layer DoS

Jamming Attack: Interference with the radio frequencies a network's nodes are using.

Physical Layer DoS

Defense against Jamming Attack: 1. 2. 3. 4. Using spread spectrum communication (DSSS or FHSS) Chanel surfing. Lowering the duty cycle. Nodes collaboratively identify the jammed region and then route traffic around it.

Physical Layer DoS

Tampering Attack: occurs when an adversary obtains physical access to a sensor node, allowing the attacker to destroy or modify the device, gain access to sensitive information, or use the device as an entry point for further attacks into the network.
The Defenses of tampering attack include hiding or camouflaging nodes, tamper-proofing packages, or implementing tamper reaction such as erasing all program or cryptographic memory.

Data Link Attacks

Collision Attack:. attempts to interfere with packet transmissions, thereby causing costly exponential backoff procedures and retransmissions in some MAC protocols.

Data Link Attacks

Exhaustion Attack:. a malicious node could exploit certain handshake techniques. For example, an attacker could continuously issue an RTS message to prompt a CTS response.



Data Link Attacks

Collision and Exhaustion Attacks can be addressed using error-correcting codes (which add processing and communication overheads) and rate-limiting schemes that allow a device to ignore requests that could lead to premature energy depletion. Spoofing and alteration can be addressed at the network layer by using message authentication code, which can be viewed as the cryptographically secure checksum of a message. These checksums allow a receiver to verify whether a message has been spoofed or altered.

Routing Attacks and defense

black/sink hole attack: In flooding based protocol, the malicious node listen to the routing request, then reply that it has the shortest path to the sink, hence it can do anything in the packet passing between sender and sink.

Routing Attacks and defense

Selective forwarding attack: A malicious node can drop only packets that match certain criteria instead of dropping all packets. Selective forwarding attacks are more difficult to detect than black hole attacks since they are harder to distinguish from packet losses due to mobility or channel errors. Defense against Black hole attack, sinkhole attack, Selective forwarding attack: Encryption and authentication using a globally shared key. 1 2 3 4 5

Routing Attacks and defense

Sybil attack : In such a case like data aggregation, a malicious node can pretend to be more than one node using identities of other legitimate nodes (Sybil node) collecting information distributed among the nodes.

F B Identity Table: Current ==X,A,C,B,D Current =X,A,C,B Current =X,A,C Current =X,A Current X



Routing Attacks and defense

The defense against Sybil attacks Can be addressed by verifying the identities of sensor nodes through strong authentication protocol.

Routing Attacks and defense

Hello flooding attack: the attacker node sends hello message to all nodes (usually it has large communication range and high processing power).

Routing Attacks and defense

The defense against the hello flooding attack is by using Pairwise authentication, which lets nodes verify bidirectional links before constructing routes.

Routing Attacks and defense

Homing attacks: It uses traffic pattern analysis to identify and target nodes that have special responsibilities, such as cluster heads or cryptographic- key managers; then the attacker destroys these key network nodes.

Routing Attacks and defense

The defense against homing attack: dummy packets

Routing Attacks and defense

Wormhole attack The attacker records the packet at one location in the network, and retransmits it to another location.

Transport layer Attacks

SYN (synchronize) flood attack : an adversary sends multiple connection requests without ever completing the connection, thus overwhelming the targets halfopen connection buffer. The primary defense against SYN Flood attack is by using SYN cookies, which encode information from the clients TCP SYN message and return it to the client to avoid maintaining state at the server.

WSN Security Protocols SPINS Protocol. TinySec Protocol. IEEE 802.15.4 and ZigBee Protocol.

SPINS has two secure building blocks, SNEP & TESLA. SNEP: Security Network Encryption Protocol. TESLA: icro vision, Timed, Efficient, Streaming, Losstolerant Authentication protocol.

Protocol mechanism: E = {D}(Kenc , C) , D is the data encrypted using encryption key Kencr (shared secret between sender and receiver) and the counter value C. M = MAC(Kmac, C|E) , MAC authentication code is computed using Mac key, Kmacand Counter value concatenated with the encrypted data. Kencr and Kmac are derived from the master secret key K. The message that A sends to B: {D}(Kenc , C) , MAC(Kmac , C|{D}(Kenc , C)).

SNEP offers the following nice properties:

Semantic security: since the counter value is incremented after each message, the same message is encrypted differently each time as the counter value is long enough that it never repeats within the node lifetime. Data authentication: using MAC. Replay protection: the counter value prevents replaying the old messages. Weak freshness: the counter value enforces the message ordering and hence weak freshness. (the receiver must receive the message with counter value higher than the previously perceived message) Low communication overhead: the counter key doesn't need to be sent within each message. 2 3 4 5

This protocol is for secured broadcasting. The base station broadcast a message Time is divided into slots. The sender generates sequence of secret keys (Key Chain) using each one for packets encryption sent in certain time slot.

Each receiver need to have one authentication key "K0 (could be sent using SNEP) The Idea is a delayed disclosure of symmetric keys. The base station sent the Key Kj+1 in time slot tj+1 so that the receiver verify that Kj=F(Kj+1),, K0=F(K1 ) Adversary already knows the disclosed key, so it can forge the packet since it knows the key used to compute the MAC. So the following security conditions have to be ensured: The sender and receiver need to be loosely synchronized in time. The receiver needs to know the key disclosure schedule.
1 2 3 4 5

Nodes broadcast authentication data Two main Issues: Nodes don't have enough memory to store the key chain used in TESLA. Also nodes don't have large computation power to compute key chain itself. Two approaches are used: Node sends the broadcast data through the base station, send data to it with SNEP and base station broadcast it. Only compute and store the key chain in the base station and send it one by one to the node in time.

Advantages of SPINS low communication overhead (only adds 8 bytes /message) SNEP achieves even symmetric security (it prevent eavesdroppers from inferring the message) Gives data authentication, replay protection, and weak message freshness. Provides efficient broadcast authentication.

Energy costs of adding SPIN security protocols to the sensor network:

Remaining security issues that SPIN protocol doesn't solve: Information leakage through a covert channel. Doesn't deal with compromised node problem. Doesn't deal with Denial-of-service (DoS) attack.

It is designed specifically for sensor networks. It supports both packet authentication and encryption using symmetric cryptography. TinySec provide many favors: TinySec supports network-wide, cluster-wide, and pairwise encryption keys. Overhead is relatively low. Data Authentication. Its encryption increases per-packet power consumption by small percentage.

Tinysec drawbacks: The problem is that TinySec doesnt protect against message replay or provide specific protection against resource consumption attacks.

IEEE 802.15.4 or ZigBee

IEEE 802.15.4, or ZigBee, provide 4 basic security models: Access control. message integrity. message confidentiality. replay protection.


Security is very important for almost all wireless sensor network applications. Traditional security mechanisms can't be used directly in WSN because of its limitations on memory, processing power, and transmission power. Some security mechanisms are designed for WSN such as SPIN protocol. The research in this field is still very opened and wide as the current security paradigms are still exhaust network capabilities and hence affect network lifetime.

Thank you