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Journal Article
R. Roman, C. Alcaraz, J. Lopez, and N. Sklavos, "Key management systems for sensor networks in the context of the Internet of Things",
Computers & Electrical Engineering, vol. 37, Elsevier, pp. 147-159, Mar 2011. DOI (I.F.: 0.837)More..


If a wireless sensor network (WSN) is to be completely integrated into the Internet as part of the Internet of Things (IoT), it is necessary to consider various security challenges, such as the creation of a secure channel between an Internet host and a sensor node. In order to create such a channel, it is necessary to provide key management mechanisms that allow two remote devices to negotiate certain security credentials (e.g. secret keys) that will be used to protect the information flow. In this paper we will analyse not only the applicability of existing mechanisms such as public key cryptography and pre-shared keys for sensor nodes in the IoT context, but also the applicability of those link-layer oriented key management systems (KMS) whose original purpose is to provide shared keys for sensor nodes belonging to the same WSN.

Impact Factor: 0.837
Journal Citation Reports® Science Edition (Thomson Reuters, 2011)

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Conference Paper
D. Galindo, R. Roman, and J. Lopez, "A Killer Application for Pairings: Authenticated Key Establishment in Underwater Wireless Sensor Networks",
Proceedings of the 7th International Conference on Cryptology and Network Security (CANS’08), LNCS 5339, Springer, pp. 120-132, December, 2008. DOI More..


Wireless sensors are low power devices which are highly constrained in terms of computational capabilities, memory, and communication bandwidth. While battery life is their main limitation, they require considerable energy to communicate data. The latter is specially dramatic in underwater wireless sensor networks (UWSN), where the acoustic transmission mechanisms are less reliable and more energy-demanding. Saving in communication is thus the primary concern in underwater wireless sensors. With this constraint in mind, we argue that non-interactive identity-based key agreement built on pairings provides the best solution for key distribution in large UWSN when compared to the state of the art. At first glance this claim is surprising, since pairing computation is very demanding. Still, pairing-based non-interactive key establishment requires minimal communication and at the same time enjoys excellent properties when used for key distribution.

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R. Roman, and J. Lopez, "KeyLED - Transmitting Sensitive Data over out-of-band Channels in Wireless Sensor Networks",
5th IEEE International Conference on Mobile Ad Hoc and Sensor Systems (MASS’08), IEEE, pp. 796-801, September, 2008. DOI More..


An out-of-band (OoB) channel can be defined as an extra channel, different from the main wireless channel, that has additional security properties. They are specially suitable for protecting spontaneous interactions and exchanging sensitive data between previously unknown devices. Due to the vulnerable nature of wireless sensor networks (WSN), these kind of channels might be useful for protecting certain sensor network operations. In this paper we analyze the applicability of out-of-band channels to wireless sensor networks, and specify why an optical channel should be a good candidate for implementing an extra channel in sensor nodes. Also, we analyze how the existing security threats may affect this type of channel. Finally, the suitability and usability of optical channels for sensor networks is demonstrated by means of a prototype.

PDF icon Roman2008b.pdf (161.47 KB)