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 journalArticle

41 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 - 1 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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