Skip to Main Content
Radio frequency identification (RFID)-based sensor systems are emerging as a new generation of wireless sensor networks by inherently integrating identification, sensing, communications and computation capabilities. Security and privacy are critical issues in dealing with a large amount of sensed data. In the study, the authors propose a distributed key array authentication protocol (KAAP) that provides classified security protection. KAAP is synthetically analysed in three aspects: logic, security and performance. The logic analysis includes messages formalisation, initial assumptions and anticipant goals based on GNY Logic formal method to verify the design correctness of the protocol. The security analysis with respect to confidentiality, integrity, authentication, anonymity and availability is performed via the simulated attacks, which involves supposing the attacker's identity, simulating the attacker's authentication process and creating compromised conditions. Such analysis ensures that the protocol has an ability to resist both external attacks (spoofing, replay, tracking and Denial of Service) and internal forgery attacks. Additionally, the performance is evaluated and compared with other related protocols to show that KAAP can improve the reliability and efficiency of sensor systems with insignificantly increased complexity. The result indicates that the protocol is reliable and scalable in advanced RFID-based sensor systems.