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We consider the problem of secret key distribution in a sensor network with multiple scattered sensor nodes and a mobile device that can be used to bootstrap the network. Our main contribution is a set of secure protocols that rely on simple network coding operations to provide a robust and low-complexity solution for sharing secret keys among sensor nodes, including pairwise keys, cluster keys, key revocation, and mobile node authentication. Despite its role as a key enabler for this approach, the mobile node only has access to an encrypted version of the keys, providing information-theoretic security with respect to attacks focused on the mobile node. Our results include performance evaluation in terms of security metrics and a detailed analysis of resource utilization. The basic scheme was implemented and tested in a real-life sensor network testbed. We deem this class of network coding protocols to be particularly well suited for highly constrained dynamic systems such as wireless sensor networks.
Information Forensics and Security, IEEE Transactions on (Volume:3 , Issue: 3 )
Date of Publication: Sept. 2008