Mitigation of black hole attacks in 6LoWPAN RPL-based Wireless sensor network for cyber physical systems

Deepak Kumar Sharma*, Sanjay K. Dhurandher, Shubham Kumaram, Koyel Datta Gupta, Pradip Kumar Sharma

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

10 Citations (Scopus)


A cyber–physical system (CPS) classically comprises the physical components, computational units, the controller, and the communication network. The Wireless sensor networks (WSNs) is a key component in the CPS and connects the distributed sensors for computation and communication. As the usage of such networks increases, the attack surface also increases and mechanisms for mitigating security threats must be developed. The nodes in the WSN are low-powered devices that cannot host traditional security systems. Moreover, specialized architectures of such networks mean that new attacks specifically targeting such architectures would be discovered. The proposed work introduces a security mechanism for black hole attack in Ripple Routing Protocol (RPL) networks, utilizing features such as IPv6 over Low-Power Wireless Personal Area Networks (6LoWPAN) network discovery. The state-of-the-art mechanisms existing today for such threats are either heavyweight intrusion detection systems or require nodes working in promiscuous mode. The promiscuity of nodes can be a security concern in itself, whereas large intrusion detection systems require huge processing and network overheads. The proposed work does not rely on either but utilizes a distributed timer-based mechanism to perform malicious node detection. The work has been evaluated using the Cooja simulator, and it has been seen that it can detect black holes with high accuracy resulting in a decrease in packet loss. The true positive rate can reach up to 100%.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)182-192
Number of pages11
JournalComputer Communications
Early online date13 Apr 2022
Publication statusPublished - 1 May 2022


  • 6LoWPAN network
  • Accuracy
  • Black hole attacks
  • CPS
  • Intrusion detection
  • RPL network
  • True positive rate
  • WSN


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