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Secret Key Generation Rate vs. Reconciliation Cost Using Wireless Channel Characteristics in Body Area Networks

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3 Author(s)
Syed Taha Ali ; Sch. of Electr. Eng. & Telecommun., Univ. of New South Wales, Sydney, NSW, Australia ; Vijay Sivaraman ; Diethelm Ostry

In this paper, we investigate the feasibility of real time derivation of cryptographic keys in body area networks using unique characteristics of the underlying wireless channel. We perform experiments to confirm that motion does indeed provide significant highly correlated randomness on either end of the wireless link between base station and mobile mote to enable real-time key generation. Furthermore, we demonstrate that channel characteristics for a dynamic body area network consist of two different components, a fast and a slow component, each of which make a qualitatively different contribution to key generation. These components can be isolated to address specific needs of the application scenario: the fast component can yield high entropy keys at a fast rate between base station and mobile mote with some bit disagreement between the two devices, the slow component generates keys at a lower rate but with very high level of bit agreement. Our experimental results highlight this tradeoff, and our key generation protocol details the key extraction process.

Published in:

Embedded and Ubiquitous Computing (EUC), 2010 IEEE/IFIP 8th International Conference on

Date of Conference:

11-13 Dec. 2010