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Journal of Sensors
Volume 2016, Article ID 9571592, 8 pages
Research Article

Location Aided Cooperative Detection of Primary User Emulation Attacks in Cognitive Wireless Sensor Networks Using Nonparametric Techniques

Departamento Señales, Sistemas y Radiocomunicaciones, ETSI Telecomunicación, Universidad Politécnica de Madrid, Avenida Complutense 30, 28040 Madrid, Spain

Received 17 April 2015; Revised 13 September 2015; Accepted 14 September 2015

Academic Editor: Walid Saad

Copyright © 2016 Mariano García-Otero and Adrián Población-Hernández. 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.


Primary user emulation (PUE) attacks are a major security challenge to cognitive wireless sensor networks (CWSNs). In this paper, we propose two variants of the PUE attack, namely, the relay and replay attacks. Such threats are conducted by malicious nodes that replicate the transmissions of a real primary user (PU), thus making them resilient to many defensive procedures. However, we show that those PUE attacks can be effectively detected by a set of cooperating secondary users (SUs), using location information and received signal strength (RSS) measurements. Two strategies for the detection of PUE relay and replay attacks are presented in the paper: parametric and nonparametric. The parametric scheme is based on the likelihood ratio test (LRT) and requires the existence of a precise path loss model for the observed RSS values. On the contrary, the nonparametric procedure is not tied to any particular propagation model; so, it does not require any calibration process and is robust to changing environmental conditions. Simulations show that the nonparametric detection approach is comparable in performance to the LRT under moderate shadowing conditions, specially in case of replay attacks.