Title: Performance implications of periodic key exchanges and packet integrity overhead in an 802.15.4 beacon enabled cluster

Authors: Jelena Misic, Fereshteh Amini, Moazzam Khan

Addresses: Department of Computer Science, University of Manitoba, Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada. ' Department of Computer Science, University of Manitoba, Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada. ' Department of Computer Science, University of Manitoba, Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada

Abstract: In this paper, we describe and evaluate a secure data exchange protocol based on the Zigbee specification and built on top of 802.15.4 beacon enabled link layer. This protocol includes a key exchange mechanism and addition of Message Authenication Code to each packet. We have simulated key exchange protocol over physical and data link layers in IEEE 802.15.4 beacon enabled cluster. Since key distribution protocol requires downlink data transmissions which have complex implementation, its communication cost is high. Our results indicate that even for small cluster size, frequent key exchanges impose a serious performance burden on the data traffic. Therefore, the period for key exchanges (i.e. the degree of security protection) has to be traded for the cluster size and throughput.

Keywords: security; wireless PANs; personal area networks; WPANs; sensor networks; wireless networks; data exchange protocols; periodic key exchanges; packet integrity overhead; 802.15.4 beacon enabled clusters; message authenication; simulation.

DOI: 10.1504/IJSNET.2008.016460

International Journal of Sensor Networks, 2008 Vol.3 No.1, pp.33 - 42

Available online: 30 Dec 2007 *

Full-text access for editors Access for subscribers Purchase this article Comment on this article