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Fundamentals of Sensor Network Programming: Applications and Technology by Chuka D. Okoye, N. Balakrishnan, Vir V. Phoha, Nandan Parameshwaran, S. Sitharama Iyengar

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Chapter 16

Security in Sensor Networks

If you spend more on coffee than on IT security, you will be hacked. What’s more, you deserve to be hacked.

White House Cybersecurity Advisor, Richard Clarke

16.1 INTRODUCTION

For the sake of completeness in the context of programming, this chapter provides a cursory view of security attacks and concerns in sensor network. For more details on algorithms and architecture, readers are advised to refer to some of the papers listed at the end of this chapter, as well as the rich literature listed in the Bibliography and available elsewhere.

16.2 SECURITY CONSTRAINTS

The fundamental constraints under which sensor networks operate prohibits them from using public-key encryption systems and third-party authentication systems. These constraints are described in the following subsections.

16.2.1 Resource Constraints

Resource constraints drive every aspect of sensor programming. As noted, the low power and processing capabilities of sensors are the most significant factors in sensor security. A typical sensor node might have a maximum of around 20–30 J (joules) of energy. For example, a Berkeley mote has an 8-bit, 4-MHz processor, which supports a minimal reduced instruction set computer (RISC)-like instruction set without support for multiplication or other costly operations. Perrig et al. [1, 2] showed that a simple random structures–algorithms (RSA) operation takes on the order oftens of seconds on this processor. After a mote is loaded with the ...

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