Secure Key Establishment in Wireless Sensor Networks

Secure Key Establishment in Wireless Sensor Networks

Suman Bala (Thapar University, India), Gaurav Sharma (Thapar University, India) and Anil K. Verma (Thapar University, India)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-5225-0105-3.ch015
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Abstract

Over the last two decades, advancement in pervasive sensing, embedded computing and wireless communication has lead an attention to a new research area of engineered systems termed as Cyber-Physical Systems (CPS). CPS has bridged the gap between the physical world to the cyber world. It is envisioned that Wireless Sensor Networks (WSN) plays an important role in the actuality of CPS. Due to wireless communication in WSN, it is more vulnerable to security threats. Key establishment is an approach, which is responsible for establishing a session between two communicating parties and therefore, a lightweight key establishment scheme is essential. In this chapter, we review the state of the art of these solutions by discussing key establishment in WSN. Also, a discussion has been carried out to capture few challenges in implementing them in real and future research directions in this area are explored to transport the field to an improved level.
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Background

Recent engineering advances especially in the field of communications lead to an emerging world of inexpensive and mobile devices, which not only solves the purpose of checking email and browsing on the go but also provides various kinds of useful applications like vehicles tracking, industrial production processing, environment conditions monitoring, patient health monitoring, battlefield surveillance etc.

Wireless Sensor Networks (WSN) (Akyildiz et al., 2002; Chen & Zhao, 2005; Olariu & Xu 2005) gained attention during last decade and enabled the development of low-powered sensor networks. Generally, WSN consists of a base station and large number of motes. A typical mote is equipped with integrated 8-bit microcontroller, radio transceiver, sensors such as photodiodes, thermistors, etc., 4KB of RAM, 128 KB of program space and a battery. The task of sensor mote is to gather, process and forward the physical information from the environment to the base station. WSN possess lots of security challenges. These are usually deployed in hostile areas. As sensor motes transmit information over the air, it attracts vulnerabilities, which can harm from malfunctioning of transmitted messages to physical capturing of motes.

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