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Achieving sink node anonymity in tactical wireless sensor networks using a reactive routing protocol

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Technical Report

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Naval Postgraduate School Monterey United States

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wireless sensor network WSN collects and routes information from the environment to an aggregation point, known as a sink node. The sink node processes the information or acts as a gateway to forward information to another network. Due to its essential role in the network, the sink node is a high priority target for an attacker who wishes to disable a WSN. In this thesis, we focus on the mitigation of sink-node vulnerability in a WSN. Specifically, in this thesis we study the issue of protecting the sink node through anonymity techniques. In particular, we use a technique known as k-anonymity. To achieve k-anonymity, we use a specific routing protocol designed to work within the constraints of WSN communication protocols, specifically IEEE 802.15.4. We use and modify the Lightweight Ad hoc On-Demand Next Generation LOADng reactive-routing protocol to achieve anonymity. This modified protocol prevents an attacker from identifying the sink node without adding significant complexity to the regular sensor nodes. We simulate the modified LOADng protocol using a custom-designed simulator in MATLAB. We demonstrate the effectiveness of our protocol and also show some of the performance tradeoffs that come with this method.

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  • Radio Communications

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