Activity modelling and comparative evaluation of WSN MAC security attacks

Pranav M. Pawar, Rasmus H. Nielsen, Neeli R. Prasad, Shingo Ohmori, Ramjee Prasad

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations


Applications of wireless sensor networks (WSNs) are growing tremendously in the domains of habitat, tele-health, industry monitoring, vehicular networks, home automation and agriculture. This trend is a strong motivation for malicious users to increase their focus on WSNs and to develop and initiate security attacks that disturb the normal functioning of the network in a severe manner. Such attacks affect the performance of the network by increasing the energy consumption, by reducing throughput and by inducing long delays. Of all existing WSN attacks, medium access control (MAC) layer attacks are considered the most harmful as they directly affect the available resources and thus the nodes' energy consumption. The first endeavour of this paper is to model the activities of MAC layer security attacks to understand the flow of activities taking place when mounting the attack and when actually executing it. The second aim of the paper is to simulate these attacks on hybrid MAC mechanisms, which shows the performance degradation of a WSN under the considered attacks. The modelling and implementation of the security attacks give an actual view of the network which can be useful in further investigating secure mechanisms to reduce the degradation of the performance in WSNs due to an attack. Lastly, the paper proposes some solutions to reduce the effects of an attack.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)205-225
Number of pages21
JournalJournal of Cyber Security and Mobility
Issue number2-3
StatePublished - 1 Apr 2012
Externally publishedYes

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2013 River Publishers.


  • Activity modelling
  • Media access control (MAC)
  • Security attacks
  • Wireless sensor networks (WSNs)


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