Temporal privacy in wireless sensor networks

Pandurang Kamat, Wenyuan Xu, Wade Trappe, Yanyong Zhang

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

66 Scopus citations


Although the content of sensor messages describing "events of interest" may be encrypted to provide confidentiality, the context surrounding these events may also be sensitive and therefore should be protected from eavesdroppers. An adversary armed with knowledge of the network deployment, routing algorithms, and the base-station (data sink) location can infer the temporal patterns of interesting events by merely monitoring the arrival of packets at the sink, thereby allowing the adversary to remotely track the spatio-temporal evolution of a sensed event. In this paper, we introduce the problem of temporal privacy for delay-tolerant sensor networks and propose adaptive buffering at intermediate nodes on the source-sink routing path to obfuscate temporal information from an adversary. We first present the effect of buffering on temporal privacy using an information-theoretic formulation and then examine the effect that delaying packets has on buffer occupancy. We evaluate our privacy enhancement strategies using simulations, where privacy is quantified in terms of the adversary's estimation error.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publication27th International Conference on Distributed Computing Systems, ICDCS'07
StatePublished - 2007
Event27th International Conference on Distributed Computing Systems, ICDCS'07 - Toronto, ON, Canada
Duration: Jun 25 2007Jun 27 2007

Publication series

NameProceedings - International Conference on Distributed Computing Systems


Other27th International Conference on Distributed Computing Systems, ICDCS'07
CityToronto, ON

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Software
  • Hardware and Architecture
  • Computer Networks and Communications


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