Clone wars: Distributed detection of clone attacks in mobile WSNs

M. Conti*, R. Di Pietro, A. Spognardi

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

38 Scopus citations


Among security challenges raised by mobile Wireless Sensor Networks, clone attack is particularly dreadful since it makes an adversary able to subvert the behavior of a network just leveraging a few replicas of some previously compromised sensors. In this work, we provide several contributions: first, we introduce two novel realistic adversary models, the vanishing and the persistent adversary, characterized by different compromising capability. We then propose two distributed, efficient, and cooperative protocols to detect replicas: History Information-exchange Protocol (HIP) and its optimized version (HOP). Both HIP and HOP leverage just local (one-hop) communications and node mobility, and differ for the amount of computation required. We study their behavior against the introduced types of attacker, considering two different mobility models and comparing our solutions against the state of the art. Both analysis and simulation results show that our solutions are effective and efficient, providing high detection rate, while incurring limited overhead.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)654-669
Number of pages16
JournalJournal of Computer and System Sciences
Issue number3
StatePublished - May 2014


  • Clone attack
  • Clone detection
  • Wireless sensor networks

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Theoretical Computer Science
  • Computer Networks and Communications
  • Computational Theory and Mathematics
  • Applied Mathematics


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