Document Type

Article

Date

2006

Embargo Period

11-2011

Keywords

wireless sensor networks, security, message encryption, secret keys, key pre-distribution

Language

English

Disciplines

Computer Sciences

Description/Abstract

To achieve security in wireless sensor networks, it is important to be able to encrypt messages sent among sensor nodes. Keys for encryption purposes must be agreed upon by communicating nodes. Due to resource constraints, achieving such key agreement in wireless sensor networks is non-trivial. Many key agreement schemes used in general networks, such as Diffie-Hellman and public-key based schemes, are not suitable for wireless sensor networks. Pre-distribution of secret keys for all pairs of nodes is not viable due to the large amount of memory used when the network size is large. Recently, a random key pre-distribution scheme and its improvements have been proposed. A common assumption made by these random key pre-distribution schemes is that no deployment knowledge is available. Noticing that in many practical scenarios, certain deployment knowledge may be available a priori, we propose a novel random key pre-distribution scheme that exploits deployment knowledge and avoids unnecessary key assignments. We show that the performance (including connectivity, memory usage, and network resilience against node capture) of sensor networks can be substantially improved with the use of our proposed scheme. The scheme and its detailed performance evaluation are presented in this paper.

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