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Sustaining Anonymity of Critical Nodes in Ad-hoc and Sensor Networks

Mohamed Younis, Computer Science and Electrical Engineering
Jon Ward, Computer Science and Electrical Engineering
Yousef Ebrahimi, Computer Science and Electrical Engineering
Rania El-badry, Computer Science and Electrical Engineering
Sami Alsemairi, Computer Science and Electrical Engineering


Many applications have drawn interest in wireless sensor networks (WSNs) in recent years. Most notable among these WSN applications are those serving in hostile environments, such as combat field reconnaissance, border protection, and security surveillance, where the network may be subject to adversary’s attacks.  Typically a WSN is composed of a large number of sensor nodes that monitor their surroundings and report their measurements to a nearby base-station. The base-station interfaces the network to remote users and often tasks the sensors and manages their operation. Given the role that the base-station plays, it is the most attractive target for an adversary who opts to inflict maximum damage to the operation of the WSN. The fact that the base-station is the sink of all data traffic makes it vulnerable.  Packet encryption would not be a sufficient countermeasure since an adversary can intercept the individual wireless transmission and employ traffic analysis techniques to follow the data paths. Since all active routes ends at the base-station, the adversary may be able to determine its location and launch targeted attacks. In this project we investigate metrics for assessing the base-station anonymity, and develop techniques for countering traffic analysis and concealing the location, identity and role of the base-station.