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The Three-Tier Security Scheme in Wireless Sensor Networks with Mobile Sinks

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2 Author(s)
Rasheed, A. ; Dept. of Comput. Sci. & Eng., Texas A&M Univ., College Station, TX, USA ; Mahapatra, R.N.

Mobile sinks (MSs) are vital in many wireless sensor network (WSN) applications for efficient data accumulation, localized sensor reprogramming, and for distinguishing and revoking compromised sensors. However, in sensor networks that make use of the existing key predistribution schemes for pairwise key establishment and authentication between sensor nodes and mobile sinks, the employment of mobile sinks for data collection elevates a new security challenge: in the basic probabilistic and q-composite key predistribution schemes, an attacker can easily obtain a large number of keys by capturing a small fraction of nodes, and hence, can gain control of the network by deploying a replicated mobile sink preloaded with some compromised keys. This article describes a three-tier general framework that permits the use of any pairwise key predistribution scheme as its basic component. The new framework requires two separate key pools, one for the mobile sink to access the network, and one for pairwise key establishment between the sensors. To further reduce the damages caused by stationary access node replication attacks, we have strengthened the authentication mechanism between the sensor and the stationary access node in the proposed framework. Through detailed analysis, we show that our security framework has a higher network resilience to a mobile sink replication attack as compared to the polynomial pool-based scheme.

Published in:

Parallel and Distributed Systems, IEEE Transactions on  (Volume:23 ,  Issue: 5 )

Date of Publication:

May 2012

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