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Security in Wireless Ad Hoc and Sensor Networks by Chunming Rong, Erdal Cayirci

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11

Challenges and Solutions: Protection

11.1 Privacy and Anonymity

The presence of wireless ad hoc and sensor networks all around us exacerbates privacy issues that must be addressed in order to prevent unauthorized observers. With the ubiquitous deployment of sensor nodes, there is now higher potential for abuse of the information collected. In contrast to direct site surveillance, information can now be made available through remote access to wireless sensor networks, and multiple sites can be monitored simultaneously by a single adversary, who can do so in a low-risk, anonymous manner. In addition, a major challenge comes from the possibility of correlating datasets to conclude new information. If the right method is used, sensitive information may be derived from even seemingly innocuous data; for instance, location information from sensors can enable the possible identification of a user, making continuous movement tracking feasible. All of this aggravates the privacy problem (Chan and Perrig, 2003).

There is obvious conflict between the need for public information and the demand for personal privacy. For example, the location of an event detected by a sensor may be required by certain applications while the location of a user constitutes a privacy issue. Total anonymity is difficult in many cases and compromises often have to be reached.

Anonymity techniques are needed to prevent an adversary from identifying the sender and receiver. To achieve anonymity, data should be depersonalized ...

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