Title: Key establishment protocols using environmental and physiological data in wireless sensor networks

Authors: Kalvinder Singh, Vallipuram Muthukkumarasamy

Addresses: Australia Development Laboratory, IBM, St Leonards, NSW 2065, Australia; School of Information and Communication Technology, Griffith University, Queensland, Australia. ' School of Information and Communication Technology, Griffith University, Queensland, Australia

Abstract: Wireless sensor networks provide solutions to a range of monitoring problems. However, they also introduce a new set of challenges mainly due to small memories, weak processors, and limited energy. As an example application, body sensor network is examined in detail in this paper. It is used as the basis for the requirements for the proposed key establishment protocols. Four protocols are proposed, which body sensors can use to derive keys from cryptographically weak environmental data. This is achieved without the necessity of using traditional encryption. We map the applicability of each protocol to the corresponding characteristics found in different types of environmental data. Detailed analysis of each of the protocols is provided. The protocols were implemented in TinyOS and simulated using TOSSIM. Energy consumption and memory requirements are analysed and found that an RSA implementation of our protocols has some advantages over an ECC implementation.

Keywords: WSNs; wireless sensor networks; BSNs; body sensor networks; authentication; confidentiality; key establishment; security; wireless networks; cryptography; energy consumption; memory requirements; RSA.

DOI: 10.1504/IJSNET.2010.034063

International Journal of Sensor Networks, 2010 Vol.8 No.1, pp.8 - 26

Published online: 07 Jul 2010 *

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