A Two-phase Security Mechanism for Anomaly Detection in Wireless Sensor Networks
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Wireless Sensor Networks (WSNs) have been applied to a wide range of application areas, including battle fields, transportation systems, and hospitals. The security issues in WSNs are still hot research topics. The constrained capabilities of sensors and the environments in which sensors are deployed, such as hostile and non-reachable areas, make the security more complicated. This dissertation describes the development and testing of a novel two-phase security mechanism for hierarchical WSNs that is capable of defending both outside and inside attacks. For the outside attacks, the attackers are usually malicious intruders that entered the network. The computation and communication capabilities of the sensors restrict them from directly defending the harmful intruders by performing traditionally encryption, authentication, or other cryptographic operations. However, the sensors can assist the more powerful nodes in a hierarchical structured WSN to track down these intruders and thereby prevent further damage. To fundamentally improve the security of a WSN, a multi-target tracking algorithm is developed to track the intruders. For the inside attacks, the attackers are compromised insiders. The intruders manipulate these insiders to indirectly attack other sensors. Therefore, detecting these malicious insiders in a timely manner is important to improve the security of a network. In this dissertation, we mainly focus on detecting the malicious insiders that try to break the normal communication among sensors, which creates holes in the WSN. As the malicious insiders attempt to break the communication by actively using HELLO flooding attack, we apply an immune-inspired algorithm called Dendritic Cell Algorithm (DCA) to detect this type of attack. If the malicious insiders adopt a subtle way to break the communication by dropping received packets, we implement another proposed technique, a short-and-safe routing (SSR) protocol to prevent this type of attack. The designed security mechanism can be applied to different sizes of both static and dynamic WSNs. We adopt a popular simulation tool, ns-2, and a numerical computing environment, MATLAB, to analyze and compare the computational complexities of the proposed security mechanism. Simulation results demonstrate effective performance of the developed corrective and preventive security mechanisms on detecting malicious nodes and tracking the intruders.
Doctor of Philosophy