Carnegie Mellon University
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The Sybil Attack in Sensor Networks: Analysis & Defenses

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journal contribution
posted on 2004-01-01, 00:00 authored by James Newsome, Elaine Shi, Dawn Song, Adrian Perrig
Security is important for many sensor network applications. A particularly harmful attack against sensor and ad hoc networks is known as the Sybil attack [6], where a node illegitimately claims multiple identities. This paper systematically analyzes the threat posed by the Sybil attack to wireless sensor networks. We demonstrate that the attack can be exceedingly detrimental to many important functions of the sensor network such as routing, resource allocation, misbehavior detection, etc. We establish a classification of different types of the Sybil attack, which enables us to better understand the threats posed by each type, and better design countermeasures against each type. We then propose several novel techniques to defend against the Sybil attack, and analyze their effectiveness quantitatively.