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compromised environment, a GPS signal can be jammed, making it erroneous or even not possible for beacon nodes to estimate their positions using their GPS receivers. 18.3.3 Attacks on the Localization Algorithm While attacks on distance estimation and position computation components are attacks speci c only to localization systems, the third component of the localization systems, the localization algorithm, shares the same kind of vulnerabilities associated with other distributed systems. It happens because the localization algorithm is a distributed and usually multihop algorithm executed by all nodes of the WSN. Some of the attacks in which distributed systems are usually vulnerable include the Sybil, the replay, and the wormhole attack. r Sybil Attacks. In this type of attack, a malicious node makes it appear that it is a set of different nodes and starts sending erroneous information. This erroneous information can be distance estimations, positions, number of hops, or nonexisting nodes or beacons. Figure 18.2a illustrates this attack when node 6 claims to be also nodes 12 to 15. r Replay Attacks. In a replay attack, a compromised node stores a received packet (from a beacon node, for instance) and then resends the same packet later. Since it is a copy of the original packet, neighboring nodes wrongly deduce that the malicious node is the node that sent the original packet (Figure 18.2b). In this case, since the distance estimation will be done based on the compromised node while the position in the packet will be based on the original node, the position computation will be affected. Both signal strength and time-based distance estimations are affected, since the packet sent by the compromised node will have a different signal strength and different propagation time. r Wormhole Attacks. In this case, the information received by one malicious node on one side of the network is sent and replicated by another malicious node on the other side of the network. The multihop path between these two attackers is a wormhole in the sense that packets arriving on one side are transported and received on the other side of the network, appearing as if it came from a
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Figure 18.2. Attacks to the localization algorithms: (a) Sybil, (b) replay, and (c) wormhole.
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SECURE LOCALIZATION SYSTEMS: PROTOCOLS AND TECHNIQUES
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neighboring node. This attack is illustrated in Figure 18.2c. This type of attack can greatly disrupt an insecure localization system by putting totally different and erroneous reference points in the position computations. 18.3.4 Examples in Current Insecure Solutions In the following, we cite some known proposed localization systems for WSNs and we show how they can be vulnerable to a number of security attacks. r Ad Hoc Positioning System (APS) [12]. This is a distributed, multihop localization system that computes the average size of a hop and uses this information in the multilateration process. In this localization system, compromised beacon nodes can report wrong positions and a wrong average hop size, causing an erroneous position computation for the nodes. Compromised regular nodes can perform a Sybil attack to act like beacons, and they can also perform a replay attack or a wormhole attack. In these last two cases, the number of hops will be incorrect, which will cause a wrong estimation of the average size of a hop and result also in an erroneous position computation for the nodes. r Recursive Position Estimation (RPE) [8]. In RPE, estimated positions are broadcasted to help other nodes estimate their position as well. A similar algorithm is the Directed Position Estimation (DPE) [6], which uses a recursion with a direction. This kind of algorithm is more subject to security problems, because the miscomputation or the hostile advertisement of a single wrong position will be used in the computation of another position that will in turn be used to compute another position, until all nodes have an incorrect estimation. As an example, a hostile node can perform a replay attack by replicating a received position. Neighboring nodes will estimate their distance to the hostile node while using the position in the replicated packet, which will start an error propagation that will increase at each localization round. r Localization with a Mobile Beacon (MBL) [23]. in the MBL, once the nodes are deployed, the mobile beacon travels through the sensor eld broadcasting messages that contain its current coordinates. When a regular node receives more than three messages from the mobile beacon, it computes its position, using a probabilistic approach, based on the received coordinates and on the RSSI distance estimations. A good aspect of this algorithm is that it is not vulnerable to some of the attacks performed in distributed algorithms such as the wormhole attack. It happens because network nodes do not need to exchange packets among them. They only need to receive packets from the mobile beacon. On the other hand, a compromised node can start sending packets as if it were the mobile beacon (Sybil or replay) and thereby mislead surrounding nodes. Also, a new hostile mobile beacon can be introduced in the network or the current mobile beacon can be compromised in order to attack the whole network. r Point-In-Triangulation Test. The APIT algorithm [7] uses triangles formed by three beacon nodes, and a node decides if it is inside or outside these triangles
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