A secure communication framework for wireless sensor networks

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Uluagac, Arif Selcuk
Copeland, John A.
Beyah, Raheem A.
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Today, wireless sensor networks (WSNs) are no longer a nascent technology and future networks, especially Cyber-Physical Systems (CPS) will integrate more sensor-based systems into a variety of application scenarios. Typical application areas include medical, environmental, military, and commercial enterprises. Providing security to this diverse set of sensor-based applications is necessary for the healthy operations of the overall system because untrusted entities may target the proper functioning of applications and disturb the critical decision-making processes by injecting false information into the network. One way to address this issue is to employ en-route-filtering-based solutions utilizing keys generated by either static or dynamic key management schemes in the WSN literature. However, current schemes are complicated for resource-constrained sensors as they utilize many keys and more importantly as they transmit many keying messages in the network, which increases the energy consumption of WSNs that are already severely limited in the technical capabilities and resources (i.e., power, computational capacities, and memory) available to them. Nonetheless, further improvements without too much overhead are still possible by sharing a dynamically created cryptic credential. Building upon this idea, the purpose of this thesis is to introduce an efficient and secure communication framework for WSNs. Specifically, three protocols are suggested as contributions using virtual energies and local times onboard the sensors as dynamic cryptic credentials: (1) Virtual Energy-Based Encryption and Keying (VEBEK); (2) TIme-Based DynamiC Keying and En-Route Filtering (TICK); (3) Secure Source-Based Loose Time Synchronization (SOBAS) for WSNs.
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