A Forward & Backward Secure Key Management in Wireless Sensor Networks for PCS/SCADA

A Forward & Backward Secure Key Management in Wireless Sensor Networks for PCS/SCADA

Hani Alzaid (Queensland University of Technology, Australia & King Abdulaziz City for Science and Technology, Saudi Arabia), DongGook Park (Sunchon National University, South Korea), Juan Gonzàlez Nieto (Queensland University of Technology, Australia), Colin Boyd (Queensland University of Technology, Australia) and Ernest Foo (Queensland University of Technology, Australia)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-60960-027-3.ch003


Process Control Systems (PCSs) or Supervisory Control and Data Acquisition (SCADA) systems have recently been added to the already wide collection of wireless sensor network applications. The PCS/ SCADA environment is somewhat more amenable to the use of heavy cryptographic mechanisms such as public key cryptography than other sensor application environments. The sensor nodes in this environment, however, are still open to devastating attacks such as node capture, which makes the design of secure key management challenging. This chapter introduces an adversary model with which we can assess key management protocols. It also proposes a key management scheme to defeat node capture attack by offering both forward and backward secrecies. The scheme overcomes the pitfalls of a comparative scheme while being not computationally more expensive.
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To best understand the added value of the proposed scheme, some understanding of SCADA is in order. Today’s SCADA systems (the third generation) are a combination of legacy and modern technology (McClanahan, 2003). The third generation SCADA has become an open system architecture rather than a vendor controlled architecture as in the second generation of SCADA. The third generation of SCADA uses open standards and protocols which facilitate distribution of its functionalities. We refer readers interested in the differences between these generations to the paper by McClanahan (2003).

Figure 1 shows a simplified SCADA system architecture which is composed of the following components:

Figure 1.

The simplified version of PCS/SCADA

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