Secure and Private Data Aggregation in WSN

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Data aggregation is an important efficiency mechanism for large scale, resource constrained networks such as wireless sensor networks (WSN). Security and privacy are central for many data aggregation applications: (1) entities make decisions based on the results of the data aggregation, so the entities need to be assured that the aggregation process and in particular the aggregate data they receive has not been corrupted (i.e., verify the integrity of the aggregation); (2) If the aggregation application has been attacked, then the attack must be handled efficiently; (3) the privacy requirements of the sensor network must be preserved.

The nature of both wireless sensor networks and data aggregation make it particularly challenging to provide the desired security and privacy requirements: (1) sensors in WSN can be easily compromised and subsequently corrupted by an adversary since they are unmonitored and have little physical security; (2) a malicious aggregator node at the root of an aggregation subtree can corrupt not just its own value but also that of all the nodes in its entire aggregation subtree; (3) since sensors have limited resourced, it is crucial to achieve the security objectives while adopting only cheap symmetric-key based operations and minimizing communication cost.

In this thesis, we first address the problem of efficient handling of adversarial attacks on data aggregation applications in WSN. We propose and analyze a detection and identification solution, presenting a precise cost-based characterization when in-network data aggregation retains its assumed benefits under persistent attacks. Second, we address the issue of data privacy in WSN in the context of data aggregation. We introduce and analyze the problem of privacy-preserving integrity-assured data aggregation (PIA) and show that there is an inherent tension between preservation of data privacy and secure data aggregation. Additionally, we look at the problem of PIA in publish-subscribe networks when there are multiple, collaborative yet competing subscribers.