SAEP: Secure, Accurate and Energy-Efficient Time Synchronization Protocol in WSNs

Kyeong Tae KIM  

IEICE TRANSACTIONS on Communications   Vol.E94-B   No.6   pp.1587-1597
Publication Date: 2011/06/01
Online ISSN: 1745-1345
DOI: 10.1587/transcom.E94.B.1587
Print ISSN: 0916-8516
Type of Manuscript: Special Section PAPER (Special Section on New Generation Mobile and Sensor Networking and Future Networks)
wireless sensor network,  time synchronization,  security,  byzantine failure,  

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Existing time synchronization schemes in sensor networks were all developed to be energy-efficient, precise, and robust, but none of them were developed with security in mind. We have developed a secure, accurate and energy-efficient time synchronization protocol (SAEP). SAEP achieves accurate time synchronization service with significantly reducing the number of message exchanges. Also, it safeguards against Byzantine failure, in which nodes drop, modify, or delay time information in an attempt to disrupt the time synchronization service in multi-hop networks. SAEP takes a distributed approach where each sensor independently makes decisions based only on the information collected from multiple adjacent nodes, thus achieving a high level of resistance to various attacks while minimizing the energy cost. We investigate the misbehavior of a maliciously compromised node and analyze how SAEP can combat these attacks. In our experiment SAEP outperforms the existing time synchronization protocol in accuracy, energy consumption and it is even resilient to multiple capture attacks.