LAD: Localization anomaly detection for wireless sensor networks

Wenliang Du, Lei Fang, Ning Peng

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

64 Scopus citations


In wireless sensor networks (WSNs), sensors' locations play a critical role in many applications. Having a GPS receiver on every sensor node is costly. In the past, a number of location discovery (localization) schemes have been proposed. Most of these schemes share a common feature: they use some special nodes, called beacon nodes, which are assumed to know their own locations (e.g., through GPS receivers or manual configuration). Other sensors discover their locations based on the reference information provided by these beacon nodes. Most of the beacon-based localization schemes assume a benign environment, where all beacon nodes are supposed to provide correct reference information. However, when the sensor networks are deployed in a hostile environment, where beacon nodes can be compromised, such an assumption does not hold anymore. In this paper, we propose a general scheme to detect localization anomalies that are caused by adversaries. Our scheme is independent from the localization schemes. We formulate the problem as an anomaly intrusion detection problem, and we propose a number of ways to detect localization anomalies. We have conducted simulations to evaluate the performance of our scheme, including the false positive rates, the detection rates, and the resilience to node compromises.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)874-886
Number of pages13
JournalJournal of Parallel and Distributed Computing
Issue number7
StatePublished - Jul 2006


  • Anomaly detection
  • Location discovery
  • Security
  • Sensor networks

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Software
  • Theoretical Computer Science
  • Hardware and Architecture
  • Computer Networks and Communications
  • Artificial Intelligence


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