A Secure and Scalable Rekeying Mechanism for Hierarchical Wireless Sensor Networks

Song GUO  An-Ni SHEN  Minyi GUO  

IEICE TRANSACTIONS on Information and Systems   Vol.E93-D   No.3   pp.421-429
Publication Date: 2010/03/01
Online ISSN: 1745-1361
DOI: 10.1587/transinf.E93.D.421
Print ISSN: 0916-8532
Type of Manuscript: INVITED PAPER (Special Section on Trust, Security and Privacy for Pervasive Applications)
key management,  group rekeying,  hierarchical wireless sensor network,  security,  

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Many applications of wireless sensor networks (WSNs) require secure group communications. The WSNs are normally operated in unattended, harsh, or hostile environment. The adversaries may easily compromise some sensor nodes and abuse their shared keys to inject false sensing reports or modify the reports sent by other nodes. Once a malicious node is detected, the group key should be renewed immediately for the network security. Some strategies have been proposed to develop the group rekeying protocol, but most of existing schemes are not suitable for sensor networks due to their high overhead and poor scalability. In this paper, we propose a new group rekeying protocol for hierarchical WSNs with renewable network devices. Compared with existing schemes, our rekeying method possesses the following features that are particularly beneficial to the resource-constrained large-scale WSNs: (1) robustness to the node capture attack, (2) reactive rekeying capability to malicious nodes, and (3) low communication and storage overhead.