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International Journal of Distributed Sensor Networks
Volume 2012 (2012), Article ID 145702, 9 pages
Research Article

MDS-Based Wormhole Detection Using Local Topology in Wireless Sensor Networks

College of Computer Science, National University of Defense Technology, Hunan 410073, China

Received 28 September 2012; Accepted 27 November 2012

Academic Editor: Shuai Li

Copyright © 2012 Xiaopei Lu et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Wormhole attack is a severe threat to wireless sensor networks (WSNs), which has received considerable attentions in the literature. However, most of the previous approaches either require special hardware devices or depend on rigorous assumptions on the network settings, which greatly limit their applicability. In this work, we attempt to relax the limitations in prior work, and propose a novel approach to detect wormhole attacks by only local topology information in WSNs. The basic idea is as follows. Each node locally collects its neighborhood information and reconstructs the neighborhood subgraph by multidimensional scaling (MDS). Potential wormhole nodes are detected by validating the legality of the reconstruction. Then, a refinement process is introduced to filter the suspect nodes and to remove false positives. Our approach solely relies on the local connectivity information and is extremely simple and lightweight, which makes it applicable in practical systems. Extensive simulations are conducted, and the results demonstrate the effectiveness and superior performance of our approach.