Secure data aggregation in WSN

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A wireless sensor network (WSN) typically consists of a sink node sometimes referred to as a base station and a number of small wireless sensor nodes. The base station is assumed to be secure with unlimited available energy while the sensor nodes are assumed to be unsecured with limited available energy. The sensor nodes monitor a geographical area and collect sensory information. Sensory information is communicated to the base station through wireless hop by hop transmissions. To conserve energy this information is aggregated at intermediate sensor nodes by applying a suitable aggregation function on the received data. Aggregation reduces the amount of network traffic which helps to reduce energy consumption on sensor nodes.[1] It however complicates the already existing security challenges for wireless sensor networks[2] and requires new security techniques tailored specifically for this scenario. Providing security to aggregate data in wireless sensor networks is known as secure data aggregation in WSN.[1][2][3] were the first few works discussing techniques for secure data aggregation in wireless sensor networks.

Two main security challenges in secure data aggregation are confidentiality and integrity of data. While encryption is traditionally used to provide end to end confidentiality in wireless sensor network, the aggregators in a secure data aggregation scenario need to decrypt the encrypted data to perform aggregation. This exposes the plaintext at the aggregators, making the data vulnerable to attacks from an adversary. Similarly an aggregator can inject false data into the aggregate and make the base station accept false data. Thus, while data aggregation improves energy efficiency of a network, it complicates the existing security challenges.[4]


  1. ^ a b Cam, H; Ozdemir, S Nair, P Muthuavinashiappan, D (October 2003). "ESPDA: Energy-efficient and Secure Pattern-based Data Aggregation for wireless sensor networks". Sensors. 2: 732–736. 
  2. ^ a b Hu, Lingxuan; David Evans (January 2003). "Secure aggregation for wireless networks". Workshop on Security and Assurance in Ad hoc Networks. 
  3. ^ Przydatek, Bartosz; Dawn Song; Adrian Perrig (2003). "SIA: secure information aggregation in sensor networks". SenSys: 255–265. 
  4. ^ Kumar, Vimal; Sanjay K. Madria (August 2012). "Secure Hierarchical Data Aggregation in Wireless Sensor Networks: Performance Evaluation and Analysis". MDM 12. 
  • Kiran Maraiya, Kamal Kant, Nitin Gupta "Wireless Sensor Network: A Review on Data Aggregation" International Journal of Scientific & Engineering Research Volume 2 Issue 4, April 2011.
  • Chalermek Intanagonwiwat, Deborah Estrin, Ramesh Govindan, John Heidemann, "Impact of Network Density on Data Aggregation in Wireless SensorNetworks," November 4, 2001.

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