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Sensor Net

Sensor Net

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Categories:Types, Research
Published by: Swebert Antony D'mello on Sep 07, 2012
Copyright:Attribution Non-commercial


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International Journal of Soft Computing and Engineering (IJSCE)ISSN: 2231-2307, Volume-2, Issue-2, May 2012538
Wireless communication technologies continueto undergo rapid advancement. In recent years, there has beena steep growth in research in the area of wireless sensornetworks (WSNs). In WSNs, communication takes place withthe help of spatially distributed, autonomous sensor nodesequipped to sense specific information. WSNs can be found in avariety of both military and civilian applications worldwide.Examples include detecting enemy intrusion on the battlefield,object tracking, habitat monitoring, patient monitoring andfire detection. Sensor networks are emerging as an attractivetechnology with great promise for the future. However,challenges remain to be addressed in issues relating to coverageand deployment, scalability, quality-of-service, size,computational power, energy efficiency and security. Thispaper presents an overview of the different applications of thewireless sensor networks and various security related issues inWSNs.
 Index Terms
Network, Security, Sensor, Wireless.
A wireless sensor network (WSN) [1] [2] is a wirelessnetwork consisting of spatially distributed autonomousdevices that use sensors to monitor physical or environmentalconditions. These autonomous devices, or nodes, combinewith routers and a gateway to create a typical WSN system.The distributed measurement nodes communicate wirelesslyto a central gateway, which provides a connection to thewired world where you can collect, process, analyze, andpresent your measurement data. To extend distance andreliability in a wireless sensor network, you can use routers togain an additional communication link between end nodesand the gateway. Currently, wireless sensor networks arebeginning to be deployed at an accelerated pace. It is notunreasonable to expect that in 10-15 years that the world willbe covered with wireless sensor networks with access to themvia the Internet (Figure-1). This can be considered as theInternet becoming a physical network. This new technologyis exciting with unlimited potential for numerous applicationareas including environmental, medical, military,transportation, entertainment, crisis management, homelanddefense, and smart spaces.
Manuscript received on April 14, 2012S.Prasanna Srinivasa Rao
, Asst.Professor, Dept. Computer Science &Engineering, School of Computing and Information Technology,VELTECHDr.RR & Dr. SR TECHNICAL UNIVERSITY., Chennai,Avadi.
Figure-1 Accessing WSNs through Internet.
The major challenges to be addressed in WSNs arecoverage and deployment, scalability, quality- of- service,size, computational power, energy efficiency and security[3].Among these challenges, security is a major issue in wirelesssensor networks. Most of the threats and attacks againstsecurity in wireless networks are almost similar to their wiredcounterparts while some are exacerbated with the inclusionof wireless connectivity. In fact, wireless networks areusually more vulnerable to various security threats as theunguided transmission medium is more susceptible tosecurity attacks than those of the guided transmissionmedium. The broadcast nature of the wirelesscommunication is a simple candidate for eavesdropping. Inthis paper we present an overview of the applications andsecurity issues relating to Wireless Sensor Networks(WSNs).
 Military or Border Surveillance Applications
WSNs are becoming an integral part of militarycommand, control, communication and intelligencesystems. Sensors can be deployed in a battle field tomonitor the presence of forces and vehicles, and track theirmovements, enabling close surveillance of opposing forces.
An Overview of Wireless Sensor NetworksApplications and Security
S.Prasanna, Srinivasa Rao
An Overview of Wireless Sensor Networks Applications and Security539
 Environmental Applications
Environmental applications include tracking themovements and patterns of insects, birds or small animals.
 Health Care Applications
Wireless sensor networks can be used to monitor andtrack elders and patients for health care purposes, whichcan significantly relieve the severe shortage of health carepersonnel and reduce the health care expenditures in thecurrent health care systems. For example sensors can be
deployed in a patient’s home to monitor the
behaviors of the patient. It can alert doctors when the patient falls andrequires immediate medical attention.
 Environmental Conditions Monitoring
WSN applications in this area include monitoring theenvironmental conditions affecting crops or livestock,monitoring temperature, humidity and lighting in officebuildings, and so on. These monitoring modules could evenbe combined with actuator modules which can control, forexample , the amount of fertilizer in the soil, or the amount of cooling or heating in a building, based on distributed sensormeasurements.
 Home Intelligence
Wireless sensor networks can be used to provide moreconvenient and intelligent living environments for humanbeings. For example, wireless sensors can be used to remotelyread utility meters in a home like water, gas, electricity andthen send the readings to a remote centre through wirelesscommunication.
 Industrial Process Control
In industry, WSNs can be used to monitormanufacturing process or the condition of manufacturingequipment. For example, chemical plants or oil refiners canuse sensors to monitor the condition of their miles of pipelines. These sensors are used to alert in case of anyfailures occurred.
Using wireless sensor networks within the agriculturalindustry is increasingly common; using a wireless network frees the farmer from the maintenance of wiring in a difficultenvironment. Gravity feed water systems can be monitoredusing pressure transmitters to monitor water tank levels,pumps can be controlled using wireless I/O devices and wateruse can be measured and wirelessly transmitted back to acentral control center for billing. Irrigation automationenables more efficient water use and reduces waste.
Structural Monitoring
Wireless sensors can be used to monitor the movementwithin buildings and infrastructure such as bridges, flyovers,embankments, tunnels etc... enabling Engineering practicesto monitor assets remotely without the need for costly sitevisits, as well as having the advantage of daily data, whereastraditionally this data was collected weekly or monthly, usingphysical site visits, involving either road or rail closure insome cases. It is also far more accurate than any visualinspection that would be carried out.
The following are the types of attacks on wireless sensornetworks:-
Common Attacks
Denial of service(DOS) Attack 
Node compromise
Impersonation Attack 
Protocol- specific Attack 
Common Attack 
The first common attack is eavesdropping i.e.., anadversary can easily retrieve valuable data from thetransmitted packets that are sent. The second commonattack is Message modification i.e.., the adversary canintercept the packets and modify them. The third commonattack is message replay ie.., the adversary can retransmitthe contents of the packets at a later time.
 DOS Attack 
A DOS attack[4] on WSN may take several forms. Thefirst one is node collaboration, in which a set of nodes actmaliciously and prevent broadcast messages from reachingcertain sections of the sensor networks. The second one is jamming attack, in which an attacker jams thecommunication channel and avoids any member of thenetwork in the affected area to send or receive any packet.The third one is exhaustion of power, in which an attackerrepeatedly requests packets from sensors to deplete theirbattery life.
 Node compromise Attack 
A sensor node is said to be compromised when anattacker gains control or access to the sensor node itself after it has been deployed. Various complex attacks can beeasily launched from compromised nodes , since thesubverted node is a full- fledged member of the sensornetwork.
 Impersonation Attack 
The most common attack that can be launched using acompromised node is the impersonation attack, in which amalicious node impersonates a legitimate node and uses itsidentity to mount an active attack such as Sybil[5] or nodereplication. In a Sybil attack, a single node takes onmultiple identities to deceive other nodes. On the other

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