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A per-hop security scheme for highly dynamic wireless sensor networks

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3 Author(s)
Syed Taha Ali ; School of Electrical Engineering and Telecommunications, University of New South Wales, Sydney, 2052, Australia ; Vijay Sivaraman ; Ashay Dhamdhere

Certain popular wireless sensor network applications, including disaster recovery, battlefield communication and athlete monitoring, are characterized by extensive node mobility, intermittent contact between nodes and a highly dynamic network topology. Traditional routing protocols and security schemes are designed for essentially static networks and do not perform well in this case. This has given rise to a new multi-hop routing paradigm, that of ldquomobility-assistedrdquo routing in which nodes make strategic data store-and-forward decisions on a per-hop basis. In this paper we discuss the security challenges relevant to mobility-assisted routing and propose a scheme to secure data communication between nodes in highly mobile sensor networks. Our solution utilizes symmetric-key encryption to ensure data confidentiality and varies encryption key in a verifiable, non-forgeable manner to allow easy authentication. This scheme also provides data freshness, semantic security and per-hop encryption to enable secure data aggregation. To validate our basic assumptions and fine-tune our scheme, we collect and analyze link connectivity statistics from a dynamic sensor network application, athlete monitoring during a first-division university soccer club match. We show that our scheme is well-suited for certain dynamic environments and serves as an effective first step towards securing communications for mobile sensor networks.

Published in:

2009 IEEE 6th International Conference on Mobile Adhoc and Sensor Systems

Date of Conference:

12-15 Oct. 2009