New Adversary and New Threats: Security in Unattended Sensor Networks

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Executive Summary

Some Wireless Sensor Networks (WSNs) preclude constant presence of a centralized data collection point, i.e., a sink. In such a disconnected or unattended setting, nodes must accumulate sensed data until it can be off-loaded to an itinerant sink. Furthermore, if the operating environment is hostile, there is a very real danger of node and data compromise. The unattended nature of the network makes it an attractive target for attacks that aim to learn, erase or modify potentially valuable data collected and held by sensors. The authors argue that adversarial models and defense techniques in prior WSN security literature are unsuitable for the Unattended WSN (UWSN) setting.

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