Provenance-enabled Packet Path Tracing in the RPL-based Internet of Things

Sabah Suhail, Mohammad Abdellatif, Shashi Raj Pandey, Abid Khan, Choong Seon Hong

The interconnection of resource-constrained and globally accessible things with untrusted and unreliable Internet make them vulnerable to attacks including data forging, false data injection, and packet drop that affects applications with critical decision-making processes. For data trustworthiness, reliance on provenance is considered to be an effective mechanism that tracks both data acquisition and data transmission. However, provenance management for sensor networks introduces several challenges, such as low energy, bandwidth consumption, and efficient storage. This paper attempts to identify packet drop (either maliciously or due to network disruptions) and detect faulty or misbehaving nodes in the Routing Protocol for Low-Power and Lossy Networks (RPL) by following a bi-fold provenance-enabled packed path tracing (PPPT) approach. Firstly, a system-level ordered-provenance information encapsulates the data generating nodes and the forwarding nodes in the data packet. Secondly, to closely monitor the dropped packets, a node-level provenance in the form of the packet sequence number is enclosed as a routing entry in the routing table of each participating node. Lossless in nature, both approaches conserve the provenance size satisfying processing and storage requirements of IoT devices. Finally, we evaluate the efficacy of the proposed scheme with respect to provenance size, provenance generation time, and energy consumption.

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