Secure key loss recovery for network broadcast in single-hop wireless sensor networks

Syed Taha Ali, Vijay Sivaraman, Ashay Dhamdhere, Diethelm Ostry
2010 Ad hoc networks  
Symmetric encryption of data at the base-station using time-varying keys has been proposed as an attractive method for securing broadcasts in wireless sensor networks: symmetric decryption keeps computational costs at sensor nodes low, while time-varying group keys protect the network against key compromise at any of the receivers. However, a significant problem is that interference or disconnections may cause a receiver to miss broadcast packets and the dynamic keys contained therein,
more » ... it unable to participate in subsequent broadcasts. In this paper, we develop a scheme which allows receivers to recover from key loss in a secure, efficient, and scalable manner. Our scheme appends recovery information to each broadcast message to help out-of-sync receivers re-attach probabilistically using an older key. We analyze our scheme to quantify the recovery probability as a function of system parameters, and deduce fundamental asymptotic bounds on recovery. We further prototype our scheme on the MicaZ mote platform and show that it is light-weight and efficient. Our solution offers a highly configurable, efficient and scalable method for key recovery in large sensor networks that require secure broadcasts. $ This submission is an extended version of a paper presented at
doi:10.1016/j.adhoc.2010.01.003 fatcat:rw4736r4zbg5vlfssx44zz3gra