JAMMY: A Distributed and Dynamic Solution to Selective Jamming Attack in TDMA WSNs


Time division multiple access (TDMA) is often used in wireless sensor networks (WSNs), especially for critical applications, as it provides high energy efficiency, guaranteed bandwidth, bounded and predictable latency, and absence of collisions. However, TDMA is vulnerable to selective jamming attacks. In TDMA transmission, slots are typically pre-allocated to sensor nodes, and each slot is used by the same node for a number of consecutive superframes. Hence, an adversary could thwart a victim node's communication by simply jamming its slot(s). Such attack turns out to be effective, energy efficient, and extremely difficult to detect. In this paper, we present JAMMY, a distributed and dynamic solution to selective jamming in TDMA-based WSNs. Unlike traditional approaches, JAMMY changes the slot utilization pattern at every superframe, thus making it unpredictable to the adversary. JAMMY is decentralized, as sensor nodes determine the next slot utilization pattern in a distributed and autonomous way. Results from performance analysis of the proposed solution show that JAMMY introduces negligible overhead yet allows multiple nodes to join the network, in a limited number of superframes.


Computer Science

Research Center/Lab(s)

Intelligent Systems Center

Second Research Center/Lab

Center for High Performance Computing Research


This work was supported by the US National Science foundation (NSF) (CNS-1404677, IIS-1404673, DGE-1433659, CNS-1355505), European Commission (FP7 Project SEGRID), Italian Ministry of Education, University and Research (PRIN Project TENACE), and University of Pisa (PRA 2015 program). This work was carried out during the tenure of an ERCIM "Alain Bensoussan" Fellowship Programme. The research leading to these results has received funding from the European Union Seventh Framework Programme (FP7/ 2007-2013) under grant agreement no 246016.

Keywords and Phrases

Bandwidth; DOS; Energy efficiency; Jamming; Sensor nodes; Wireless sensor networks; Decentralized slot acquisition; High energy efficiency; Secure slot permutation; Security; Time division multiple accesses (TDMA); Traditional approaches; Wireless sensor network (WSNs); WSNs; Time division multiple access; Decentralized slot acquisition; Selective jamming; TDMA

International Standard Serial Number (ISSN)

1545-5971; 1941-0018

Document Type

Article - Journal

Document Version


File Type





© 2017 Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE), All rights reserved.

Publication Date

01 Jul 2017