Security of electrostatic field persistent routing: Attacks and defense mechanisms

Oliviu C. Ghica, Cristina Nita-Rotaru, Goce Trajcevski*, Peter Scheuermann

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations


Electrostatic field-based routing (EFR) is a form of geographical multi-path routing where packets are routed along (a collection of) paths corresponding to electrostatic field lines defined by the charges associated with source and sink nodes. Ideally, EFR provides an efficient and scalable solution to the workload balancing problem, thereby promoting a more even depletion of the energy resources among the participating sensors. However, in addition to not being adaptable to the realistic settings that consider the actual nodes' locations, it also assumes that nodes behave in a cooperative manner. This, in turn, renders it vulnerable to various attacks. In this article, we investigate the security aspects of EFR-based routing protocols, focusing on an instance of EFR called multi-pole field persistent routing (MP-FPR). While advancing the naïve EFR in terms of the better location-awareness energy balancing, MP-FPR is still susceptible to the same family of attacks. We provide systematic identification of the attacks that can target different components of the protocol, and propose an extended variant, secure multi-pole field persistent routing (SMP-FPR) which incorporates a collection of defense mechanisms. We present extensive experimental evaluations of the impact of the different attacks and the effectiveness of the proposed defense mechanisms.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)270-295
Number of pages26
JournalAd Hoc Networks
StatePublished - Jan 2016


  • Field based routing
  • Security
  • Sensor networks

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Software
  • Hardware and Architecture
  • Computer Networks and Communications


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