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Proceedings Paper

Unsupervised algorithms for intrusion detection and identification in wireless ad hoc sensor networks
Author(s): William S. Hortos
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Paper Abstract

In previous work by the author, parameters across network protocol layers were selected as features in supervised algorithms that detect and identify certain intrusion attacks on wireless ad hoc sensor networks (WSNs) carrying multisensor data. The algorithms improved the residual performance of the intrusion prevention measures provided by any dynamic key-management schemes and trust models implemented among network nodes. The approach of this paper does not train algorithms on the signature of known attack traffic, but, instead, the approach is based on unsupervised anomaly detection techniques that learn the signature of normal network traffic. Unsupervised learning does not require the data to be labeled or to be purely of one type, i.e., normal or attack traffic. The approach can be augmented to add any security attributes and quantified trust levels, established during data exchanges among nodes, to the set of cross-layer features from the WSN protocols. A two-stage framework is introduced for the security algorithms to overcome the problems of input size and resource constraints. The first stage is an unsupervised clustering algorithm which reduces the payload of network data packets to a tractable size. The second stage is a traditional anomaly detection algorithm based on a variation of support vector machines (SVMs), whose efficiency is improved by the availability of data in the packet payload. In the first stage, selected algorithms are adapted to WSN platforms to meet system requirements for simple parallel distributed computation, distributed storage and data robustness. A set of mobile software agents, acting like an ant colony in securing the WSN, are distributed at the nodes to implement the algorithms. The agents move among the layers involved in the network response to the intrusions at each active node and trustworthy neighborhood, collecting parametric values and executing assigned decision tasks. This minimizes the need to move large amounts of audit-log data through resource-limited nodes and locates routines closer to that data. Performance of the unsupervised algorithms is evaluated against the network intrusions of black hole, flooding, Sybil and other denial-of-service attacks in simulations of published scenarios. Results for scenarios with intentionally malfunctioning sensors show the robustness of the two-stage approach to intrusion anomalies.

Paper Details

Date Published: 19 May 2009
PDF: 12 pages
Proc. SPIE 7352, Intelligent Sensing, Situation Management, Impact Assessment, and Cyber-Sensing, 73520J (19 May 2009); doi: 10.1117/12.820506
Show Author Affiliations
William S. Hortos, Associates in Communication Engineering Research and Technology (United States)


Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 7352:
Intelligent Sensing, Situation Management, Impact Assessment, and Cyber-Sensing
Stephen Mott; John F. Buford; Gabriel Jakobson, Editor(s)

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