Wensheng Zhang, Johnny Wong of Computer Science and Daji Qiao of ECE Receive an NSF Grant to Develop Approaches to Protect Privacy, Confidentiality, Integrity and Reliability in Sensor Networks

September 6, 2007

The US National Science Foundation has awarded a 3-year, $250,000 CyberTrust Grant to a team led by Professors Wensheng Zhang and Johnny Wong of Computer Science Department and Professor Daji Qiao of Electrical and Computer Engineering Department to develop an Integrated Solution to Provide Privacy, Confidentiality, Integrity and Reliability Protection for Sensor Data Management. 

Widely deployed for military and civilian applications, sensor networks have become an indispensable segment of national cyber infrastructure. In sensor networks, sensor nodes sense continuously and generate data to describe the environment; once data have been generated, an essential mission of the network is to manage sensor data such that useful data are stored safely and authorized users can have access to data of their interest. Meanwhile, sensor nodes are usually deployed in unattended even hostile environments, and they typically lack tamper resistance. As such, sensor data management is susceptible to various security attacks. Although a few schemes have been proposed against selected attacks, the limitations are also salient: lacking protection for emerging sensor data management approaches, disrupting normal data management operations, high overhead, lack of adaptability to balance security level and system overhead, and no systematic solutions to counter multiple types of attacks at the same time. 

To address these issues, this project is to design an integrated solution to provide novel privacy, confidentiality, integrity and reliability protection for sensor data management. It includes four components: location privacy protection, data confidentiality protection, data integrity protection and data reliability protection. These components will be integrated together via a carefully-designed hierarchical and modular software structure, and to be evaluated through a combination of model checking, simulation, and implementation on a sensor network test-bed. The project will contribute to the development of innovative solutions for protecting sensor networks, training of a diverse cadre of young scientists, students and professionals in wireless networking and security, and most importantly enhanced cyber infrastructure security.