INSENS: intrusion-tolerant routing for wireless sensor networks

Jing Deng*, Richard Han, Shivakant Mishra

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

157 Citations (Scopus)


This paper describes an INtrusion-tolerant routing protocol for wireless SEnsor NetworkS (INSENS). INSENS securely and efficiently constructs tree-structured routing for wireless sensor networks (WSNs). The key objective of an INSENS network is to tolerate damage caused by an intruder who has compromised deployed sensor nodes and is intent on injecting, modifying, or blocking packets. To limit or localize the damage caused by such an intruder, INSENS incorporates distributed lightweight security mechanisms, including efficient one-way hash chains and nested keyed message authentication codes that defend against wormhole attacks, as well as multipath routing. Adapting to WSN characteristics, the design of INSENS also pushes complexity away from resource-poor sensor nodes towards resource-rich base stations. An enhanced single-phase version of INSENS scales to large networks, integrates bidirectional verification to defend against rushing attacks, accommodates multipath routing to multiple base stations, enables secure joining/leaving, and incorporates a novel pairwise key setup scheme based on transitory global keys that is more resilient than LEAP. Simulation results are presented to demonstrate and assess the tolerance of INSENS to various attacks launched by an adversary. A prototype implementation of INSENS over a network of MICA2 motes is presented to evaluate the cost incurred.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)216-230
Number of pages15
JournalComputer Communications
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 10 Jan 2006
Externally publishedYes


  • Fault tolerance
  • Intrusion tolerance
  • Secure routing
  • Security
  • Sensor network


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