A recursive verification protocol to reduce the time variance due to delays in the network by putting the subject node at most one hop from the verifier node provides for an efficient manner to test wireless sensor nodes. Since the software signatures are time based, recursive testing will give a much cleaner signal for positive verification of the software running on any one node in the sensor network. In this protocol, the main verifier checks its neighbor, who in turn checks its neighbor, and continuing this process until all nodes have been verified. This ensures minimum time delays for the software verification. Should a node fail the test, the software verification downstream is halted until an alternative path (one not including the failed node) is found. Utilizing techniques well known in the art, having a node tested twice, or not at all, can be avoided.
This invention was made with government support under Contract No. DE-FC36-04GO14002 awarded by the United States Department of Energy. The government has certain rights in this invention.