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Responding to an Attack in Sensor Networks

Vinod, Balambika
Responding to an attacker who has infiltrated a network has received little attention. In this thesis we propose an appropriate response model to a wormhole attack in sensor networks. The response to the attack will maximize the benefit to the defender sensor node by obtaining an alternate path that will avoid the wormhole, thus mitigating the effects of the attack. This is achieved by using sacrificial nodes to engage the attacker while alternatives are explored by the defender. This approach has the added advantage of expending the attacker's resources and time. A probabilistic response model that determines the success of an alternative route being discovered is developed. A monitoring scheme is also proposed to ensure that sufficient sacrificial nodes are engaging the attacker. The study was validated using the wireless sensor network simulator and emulator SENSE. Results show that the wormhole attacker's presence in the route is eliminated when he reaches his maximum utilization or capacity. In addition, as theorized the number of sacrificial nodes needed to respond to an attack is directly proportional to the attacker's power and inversely proportional to that of the sacrificial nodes.