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A Network Coding Approach to Secret Key Distribution

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2 Author(s)
Oliveira, P.F. ; Fac. de Cienc., Dept. de Cienc. de Comput., Univ. do Porto, Porto ; Barros, J.

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.

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Information Forensics and Security, IEEE Transactions on  (Volume:3 ,  Issue: 3 )