Temporal privacy in wireless sensor networks: Theory and practice

Pandurang Kamat, Wenyuan Xu, Wade Trappe, Yanyong Zhang

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

25 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Although the content of sensor messages describing "events of interest" may be encrypted to provide confidentiality, the context surrounding these events may also be sensitive and therefore should be protected from eavesdroppers. An adversary armed with knowledge of the network deployment, routing algorithms, and the base-station (data sink) location can infer the temporal patterns of interesting events by merely monitoring the arrival of packets at the sink, thereby allowing the adversary to remotely track the spatio-temporal evolution of a sensed event. In this paper we introduce the problem of temporal privacy for delay-tolerant sensor networks, and propose adaptive buffering at intermediate nodes on the source-sink routing path to obfuscate temporal information from the adversary. We first present the effect of buffering on temporal privacy using an information-theoretic formulation, and then examine the effect that delaying packets has on buffer occupancy. We observe that temporal privacy and efficient buffer utilization are contrary objectives, and then present an adaptive buffering strategy that effectively manages these tradeoffs. Finally, we evaluate our privacy enhancement strategies using simulations, where privacy is quantified in terms of the adversary's mean square error.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number28
JournalACM Transactions on Sensor Networks
Volume5
Issue number4
DOIs
StatePublished - Nov 1 2009

Fingerprint

Circuit theory
Routing algorithms
Mean square error
Base stations
Sensor networks
Wireless sensor networks
Monitoring
Sensors

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Computer Networks and Communications

Keywords

  • Privacy
  • Security
  • Sensor networks
  • Temporal privacy

Cite this

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Temporal privacy in wireless sensor networks : Theory and practice. / Kamat, Pandurang; Xu, Wenyuan; Trappe, Wade; Zhang, Yanyong.

In: ACM Transactions on Sensor Networks, Vol. 5, No. 4, 28, 01.11.2009.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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