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This paper addresses the problem of secure path key establishment in wireless sensor networks that uses the random key pre-distribution technique. Inspired by the recent proxy-based scheme in the work of Ling and Znati (2005) and Li et al. (2005), we introduce a friend-based scheme for establishing pairwise keys securely. We show that the chances of finding friends in a neighbourhood are considerably more than that of finding proxies, leading to lower communication overhead. Further, we prove that the friend-based scheme performs better than the proxy-based scheme both in terms of resilience against node capture as well as in energy consumption for pairwise key establishment, making our scheme more feasible.
Date of Conference: 7-12 Jan. 2007