Active Watermarking of Data and Information in Wireless Ad Hoc Sensor Networks

Farinaz Koushanfar and Miodrag Potkonjak1
(Professor Alberto L. Sangiovanni-Vincentelli)

Sensor networks (SNs) have emerged as the bridge between the Internet and the physical world, as the driver of the next potential economic revolution, and as the imminent largest producer of data and information. Therefore, development of intellectual property protection (IPP) for SNs are of prime importance.

We propose the first IPP approach for data and information generated in sensor networks. Contrary to the current state-of-the-art of image and audio watermarking, we embed signatures before and/or during the process of data acquisition and processing. The key idea is to impose additional conditions that correspond to the cryptographically encoded author/owner's signature during the data acquisition or processing in such a way that the quality of recording or processing is not impacted, or is only minimally impacted.

The technique is generic in that it is applicable to a number of tasks in SNs, including sensor design, deployment, and data fusion. It enables real-time watermark checking and can be used in conjunction with a variety of watermarking protocols. It can also be applied to any collected multimodal data or data generated for simulation purposes. Finally, the technique is adaptive, optimization-intensive, and resilient against attack. Through simulation and prototyping we demonstrate the effectiveness of active watermarking on three important sensor network tasks: location discovery, navigation, and light characterization.

1Outside Adviser (non-EECS), UCLA

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