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A Comparison of Link Layer Attacks on Wireless Sensor Networks

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Author(s): Shahriar Mohammadi | Reza Ebrahimi Atani | Hossein Jadidoleslamy

Journal: Journal of Information Security
ISSN 2153-1234

Volume: 02;
Issue: 02;
Start page: 69;
Date: 2011;
Original page

Keywords: Wireless Sensor Network | Security | Link Layer | Attacks | Detection | Defensive Mechanism

ABSTRACT
Wireless sensor networks (WSNs) have many potential applications [1,2] and unique challenges. They usually consist of hundreds or thousands of small sensor nodes such as MICA2, which operate autonomously; conditions such as cost, invisible deployment and many application domains, lead to small size and resource limited sensors [3]. WSNs are susceptible to many types of link layer attacks [1] and most of traditional network security techniques are unusable on WSNs [3]; This is due to wireless and shared nature of communication channel, untrusted transmissions, deployment in open environments, unattended nature and limited resources [1]. Therefore security is a vital requirement for these networks; but we have to design a proper security mechanism that attends to WSN’s constraints and requirements. In this paper, we focus on security of WSNs, divide it (the WSNs security) into four categories and will consider them, include: an overview of WSNs, security in WSNs, the threat model on WSNs, a wide variety of WSNs’ link layer attacks and a comparison of them. This work enables us to identify the purpose and capabilities of the attackers; furthermore, the goal and effects of the link layer attacks on WSNs are introduced. Also, this paper discusses known approaches of security detection and defensive mechanisms against the link layer attacks; this would enable IT security managers to manage the link layer attacks of WSNs more effectively.
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