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The owner and users of a sensor network may be different, which necessitates privacy-preserving access control. On the one hand, the network owner need enforce strict access control so that the sensed data are only accessible to users willing to pay. On the other hand, users wish to protect their respective data access patterns whose disclosure may be used against their interests. This paper presents DP2AC, a Distributed Privacy-Preserving Access Control scheme for sensor networks, which is the first work of its kind. Users in DP2AC purchase tokens from the network owner whereby to query data from sensor nodes which will reply only after validating the tokens. The use of blind signatures in token generation ensures that tokens are publicly verifiable yet unlinkable to user identities, so privacy-preserving access control is achieved. A central component in DP2AC is to prevent malicious users from reusing tokens, for which we propose a suite of distributed token reuse detection (DTRD) schemes without involving the base station. These schemes share the essential idea that a sensor node checks with some other nodes (called witnesses) whether a token has been used, but they differ in how the witnesses are chosen. We thoroughly compare their performance with regard to TRD capability, communication overhead, storage overhead, and attack resilience. The efficacy and efficiency of DP2AC are confirmed by detailed performance evaluations.
Parallel and Distributed Systems, IEEE Transactions on (Volume:23 , Issue: 8 )
Date of Publication: Aug. 2012