Secure data aggregation in unattended wireless sensor networks

Wireless Sensor Networks (WSN) contain large number of tiny, low cost sensors. Many sensor networks have mission critical tasks that involve data collection in remote, inaccessible or hostile environments, such as battle fields, deserts, mountains, etc. These sensors are normally monitored and managed by a trusted authority commonly known as sink or collector. In certain special classes of WSNs, this sink may not be online all the time. It visits and collects information from the nodes at certain intervals. Such WSNs are known as unattended wireless sensor networks (UWSNs) [1]. Since the sink visits and collects information at intervals, every node has to secure the data until the next visit of the sink. Security needs should be taken into account to ensure data protection (also called data survivability), authentication of sensors.

Existing distributed security mechanisms for WSNs [2] are not suitable for the UWSNs due to infrequent visits of the sink. Cryptographic key management techniques provide data authenticity [3, 4] and integrity but do not ensure data survivability. Self-healing in UWSN has also been widely studied [5]. In self-healing techniques, nodes can regenerate keys and continue functioning normally after being compromised. Most of the existing schemes assume that the sensors are static between successive visits from the sink. Efficient data survivability in mobile UWN has not been well studied. In a large field it might not have efficient to visit all nodes. Secure data aggregation is an important problem in this regard. Hence, we will design efficient algorithms which will ensure secure data aggregation by special sensor nodes called aggregators. Sink can then visit only the aggregator nodes, instead of all nodes.

In this project, will be study the following problems:
1. Efficient data survivability in mobile UWSN, and
2. Efficient data aggregation with self-healing in UWSN

We will not only design algorithms, but also simulate these algorithms using simulators like NS2.


[1] R. D. Pietro, L. V. Mancini, C. Soriente, A. Spognardi, and G.
Tsudik, “Data security in unattended wireless sensor networks”, IEEE
Transactions on Computers, vol. 58, pp. 1500-1511, 2009.

[2] X. Chen, K. Makki, K. Yen, and N. Pissinou, “Sensor network
security: a survey”, IEEE Communications Surveys Tutorials, vol. 11,
no. 2, pp. 52-73, 2009.

[3] R. D. Pietro, C. Soriente, A. Spognardi, and G. Tsudik,
“Collaborative authentication in unattended WSNs”, in ACM WISEC, pp.237-244, 2009.

[4] T. Dimitriou and A. Sabouri, “Pollination: A data authentication
scheme for unattended wireless sensor networks”, in IEEE 10th
International Conference on Trust, Security and Privacy in Computing
and Communications (TrustCom), Nov. 2011, pp. 409-416, 2011.

[5] R. D. Pietro, D. Ma, C. Soriente, and G. Tsudik, “Posh: Proactive
cooperative self-healing in unattended wireless sensor networks”, in
IEEE SRDS, pp. 185-194, 2008.

Faculty Supervisor:

Amiya Nayak






University of Ottawa


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