Establishing pairwise keys in distributed sensor networks

  • Liu D
  • Ning P
  • Li R
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Abstract

Pairwise key establishment is a fundamental security service in sensor networks; it enables sensor nodes to communicate securely with each other using cryptographic techniques. However, due to the resource constraints on sensors, it is infeasible to use traditional key management techniques such as public key cryptography and key distribution center (KDC). To facilitate the study of novel pairwise key predistribution techniques, this paper presents a general framework for establishing pairwise keys between sensors on the basis of a polynomial-based key predistribution protocol. This paper then presents two efficient instantiations of the general framework: a random subset assignment key predistribution scheme and a grid-based key predistribution scheme. The analysis in this paper indicates that these two schemes have a number of nice properties, including high probability (or guarantee) to establish pairwise keys, tolerance of node captures, and low communication overhead. Finally, this paper presents a technique to reduce the computation at sensors required by these schemes.

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Authors

  • Donggang Liu

  • Peng Ning

  • Rongfang Li

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