UnMask: Utilizing neighbor monitoring for attack mitigation in multihop wireless sensor networks

Issa Khalil, Saurabh Bagchi, Cristina N. Rotaru, Ness B. Shroff

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    47 Citations (Scopus)


    Sensor networks enable a wide range of applications in both military and civilian domains. However, the deployment scenarios, the functionality requirements, and the limited capabilities of these networks expose them to a wide range of attacks against control traffic (such as wormholes, rushing, Sybil attacks, etc.) and data traffic (such as selective forwarding). In this paper we propose a framework called UnMask that mitigates such attacks by detecting, diagnosing, and isolating the malicious nodes. UnMask uses as a fundamental building block the ability of a node to oversee its neighboring nodes' communication. On top of UnMask, we build a secure routing protocol, Lsr, that provides additional protection against malicious nodes by supporting multiple node-disjoint paths. We analyze the security guarantees of UnMask and use ns-2 simulations to show its effectiveness against representative control and data attacks. The overhead analysis we present shows that UnMask is a lightweight protocol appropriate for securing resource constrained sensor networks.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)148-164
    Number of pages17
    JournalAd Hoc Networks
    Issue number2
    Publication statusPublished - Mar 2010


    • Control attack
    • Data attack
    • Neighbor monitoring
    • Secure routing
    • Sensor network security

    ASJC Scopus subject areas

    • Software
    • Hardware and Architecture
    • Computer Networks and Communications


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