The Sybil attack is a particularly harmful threat to sensor networks where a single sensor node illegitimately claims multiple identities. a malicious node may generate an arbitrary number of additional node identities using only one physical device. the Sybil attack can disrupt normal functioning of the sensor network, such as the multipath routing, used to explore the multiple disjoint paths between source-destination pairs. But the Sybil attack can disrupt it when a single adversary presents multiple identities, which appear on the multiple paths. Digital certificates are a way to prove identities, but they are not suitable for the sensor network because of the large computational overheads. Researchers have proposed a lightweight identity certificate method to defeat Sybil attacks, but it is not suitable for a large-scale sensor network because of the huge memory usage required at each node. in this paper, we propose a light-weight Sybil attack detection method based on a hierarchical architecture in sensor networks. the proposed method can be used in a large-scale sensor network, and it only uses the symmetric cryptography avoiding the use of the public key cryptography. Simulation results show that the proposed method only needs a small memory (below 140 KB) for each node (even in a large-scale sensor network). in addition, the energy consumption by new identity generations within each group is low (below 60 mJ), which is much lower than the available energy at each sensor node.


Computer Science

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Article - Conference proceedings

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Publication Date

01 Dec 2007