Cluster-Based Key Management in Wireless Sensor Networks

Document Type : Original Article


Abstract: Wireless sensor network (WSN) has unique nature which is different
from other kinds of networks. It contains a large number of sensing devices which
are limited in energy, computation power, and communication capabilities. WSNs
are used in applications where the sensors have physical interactions with its
environment and are accessible by any one. This makes them more vulnerable to
various security threats. However, establishing secure communications is an open
and difficult issue for WSNs. Exchanged information over WSN is to be secured by
encryption and the use of an efficient key management protocol. Key management,
in general, involves both the key establishment and key distribution. Traditional
key management is difficult to apply in WSN due to its nature. In this paper, we
present new protocol for key establishment and key distribution, referred to as
cluster-based key management for WSNs, which is based on Eschenauer and
Gligor (EG) key pre-distribution scheme. Our proposal covers the aspects of key
generation phase using minimum number of keys generated in the pool, and re-
keying phase using two key rings in each sensor node, to overcome the related
drawbacks of the EG.