A light-weight authentication scheme for wireless sensor networks

Sensor networks are ad hoc mobile networks that include sensor nodes with limited computational and communication capabilities. They have become an economically viable monitoring solution for a wide variety of applications. Obviously, security threats need to be addressed and, taking into account its limited resources, the use of symmetric cryptography is strongly recommended. In this paper, a light-weight authentication model for wireless sensor networks composed of a key management and an authentication protocol is presented. It is based on the use of simple symmetric cryptographic primitives with very low computational requirements, which obtains better results than other proposals in the literature. Compared to SPINS and BROSK protocols, the proposal can reduce energy consumption by up to 98% and 67%, respectively. It also scales well with the size of the network, due to it only requiring one interchanged message, independently of the total number of nodes in the network.

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