Title page for ETD etd-01242012-110930

Document Type Master's Dissertation
Author Mouton, Francois
Email moutonf@gmail.com
URN etd-01242012-110930
Document Title Digital forensic readiness for wireless sensor network environments
Degree MSc
Department Computer Science
Advisor Name Title
Mr H S Venter Committee Chair
  • digital forensic readiness
  • flooding detection
  • flooding attacks
  • communication
  • digital forensics
  • wireless sensor networks.
  • security
  • sensor networks
  • broadcasting
  • wireless networks
Date 2012-04-08
Availability unrestricted
The new and upcoming field of wireless sensor networking is unfortunately still lacking in terms of both digital forensics and security. All communications between different nodes (also known as motes) are sent out in a broadcast fashion. These broadcasts make it quite difficult to capture data packets forensically and, at the same time, retain their integrity and authenticity. The study presents several attacks that can be executed successfully on a wireless sensor network, after which the dissertation delves more deeply into the flooding attack as it is one of the most difficult attacks to address in wireless sensor networks. Furthermore, a set of factors is presented to take into account while attempting to achieve digital forensic readiness in wireless sensor networks. The set of factors is subsequently discussed critically and a model is proposed for implementing digital forensic readiness in a wireless sensor network. The proposed model is next transformed into a working prototype that is able to provide digital forensic readiness to a wireless sensor network. The main contribution of this research is the digital forensic readiness prototype that can be used to add a digital forensics layer to any existing wireless sensor network. The prototype ensures the integrity and authenticity of each of the data packets captured from the existing wireless sensor network by using the number of motes in the network that have seen a data packet to determine its integrity and authenticity in the network. The prototype also works on different types of wireless sensor networks that are in the frequency range of the network on which the prototype is implemented, and does not require any modifications to be made to the existing wireless sensor network. Flooding attacks pose a major problem in wireless sensor networks due to the broadcasting of communication between motes in wireless sensor networks. The prototype is able to address this problem by using a solution proposed in this dissertation to determine a sudden influx of data packets within a wireless sensor network. The prototype is able to detect flooding attacks while they are occurring and can therefore address the flooding attack immediately. Finally, this dissertation critically discusses the advantages of having such a digital forensic readiness system in place in a wireless sensor network environment.

Copyright 2012, University of Pretoria. All rights reserved. The copyright in this work vests in the University of Pretoria. No part of this work may be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means, without the prior written permission of the University of Pretoria

Please cite as follows:

Mouton, F 2012, Digital forensic readiness for wireless sensor network environments, MSc dissertation, University of Pretoria, Pretoria, viewed yymmdd < http://upetd.up.ac.za/thesis/available/etd-01242012-110930 / >


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