A Defense Against “Sleep Deprivatioin” Attack

V.M. Igure, T.N. Blalock, and R.D. Willaims (USA)


Security, Wireless Sensor Networks, DoS Attacks


Many current and future embedded computing devices will operate from severely limited battery power, and they will conserve this power by spending most of their time in a very low power “sleep” state. These devices can be sub jected to a denial of service (DoS) attack that prevents them from entering the sleep state. This “sleep depriva tion” attack is accomplished by an attacker repeatedly sending false messages until the limited battery power of the attacked device is exhausted. A defense against this attack uses a very low power authentication scheme that must be passed before the main processing elements of the sleeping device will be awakened. An implementation of this low power authentication scheme is discussed along with consideration of the broader authentication issues for the embedded computing devices.

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