Efficient and resilient key discovery based on pseudo-random key pre-deployment

Roberta Di Pietro, Luigi V. Mancini, Alessandro Mei

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

35 Scopus citations


A distributed Wireless Sensor Network (WSN) is a collection of n sensors with limited hardware resources and multihop message exchange capabilities. Due to the scarceness of resources, the distributed paradigm required, and the threats to the security, a challenging problem is how to implement secure pairwise communications among any pair of sensors in a WSN. In particular, storage memory and energy saving as well as resilience to physical compromising of a sensor are the more stringent requirements. The contributions of this paper are twofold: (1) we describe a new threat model to communications confidentiality in WSNs (the smart attacker model); under this new, more realistic threat model, the security features of the previous schemes proposed in the literature drastically decrease; (2) we provide a new pseudo-random key pre-deployment strategy that assures: (a) a key discovery phase that requires no communications; (b) high resilience against the smart attacker model. We provide both analytical evaluations and extensive simulations of the proposed scheme. The results indicate that our pseudo-random key pre-deployment proposal achieves a provably efficient assignment of keys to sensors, an energy preserving key discovery phase, and is resilient against the smart attacker model.
Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationProceedings - International Parallel and Distributed Processing Symposium, IPDPS 2004 (Abstracts and CD-ROM)
Number of pages8
StatePublished - Dec 1 2004
Externally publishedYes


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