LIGER: implementing efficient hybrid security mechanisms for heterogeneous sensor networks


The majority of security schemes available for sensor networks assume deployment in areas without access to a wired infrastructure. More specifically, nodes in these networks are unable to leverage key distribution centers (KDCs) to assist them with key management. In networks with a heterogeneous mix of nodes, however, it is not unrealistic to assume that some more powerful nodes have at least intermittent contact with a backbone network. For instance, an air-deployed battlefield network may have to operate securely for some time until uplinked friendly forces move through the area. We therefore propose LIGER, a hybrid key management scheme for heterogeneous sensor networks that allows systems to operate in both the presence and absence of a KDC. Specifically, when no KDC is available, nodes communicate securely with each other based upon a probabilistic unbalanced method of key management. The ability to access a KDC allows nodes to probabilistically authenticate neighboring devices with which they are communicating. We also demonstrate that this scheme is robust to the compromise of both low and high capability nodes and that the same keys can be used for both modes of operation. Detailed experiments and simulations are used to show that LIGER is a highly practical solution for the current generation of sensors and the unbalanced approach can significantly reduce network initialization time.

DOI: 10.1145/1134680.1134683
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@inproceedings{Traynor2006LIGERIE, title={LIGER: implementing efficient hybrid security mechanisms for heterogeneous sensor networks}, author={Patrick Traynor and Raju Kumar and Hussain Bin Saad and Guohong Cao and Thomas F. La Porta}, booktitle={MobiSys}, year={2006} }