Clone detection in sensor networks with ad hoc and grid topologies

R. R. Brooks, P. Y. Govindaraju, M. Pirretti, N. Vijaykrishnan, M. Kandemir

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations


In cloning attacks, an adversary captures a sensor node, reprograms it, makes multiple copies, and inserts these copies, into the network. Cloned nodes subvert sensor network processing from within. In a companion paper [2], we show how to detect and remove clones from sensor networks using random key predistribution security measures. Keys that are present on the cloned nodes are detected by using authentication statistics based on key usage frequency. For consistency with existing random key predistribution literature, and ease of explanation, the network in that paper used an Erdos-Renyi topology. In the Erdos-Renyi topology, the probability of connection between any two nodes in the network is uniform. Since the communications ranges of sensor nodes are limited, this topology is flawed. This article applies the clone detection approach from [2] to more realistic network topologies. Grid and ad hoc topologies reflect the node connectivity patterns of networks of nodes with range limits. We provide analytical methods for choosing detection thresholds that accurately detect clones. We use simulations to verify our method. In particular we find the limitations of this approach, such as the number of nodes that can be inserted without being detected.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)209-223
Number of pages15
JournalInternational Journal of Distributed Sensor Networks
Issue number3
StatePublished - Jul 2009

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • General Engineering
  • Computer Networks and Communications


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