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Secure Sensor Networks

Researcher: Adrian Perrig

Research Area: Next Generation Secure and Available Networks


Secure Sensor Networks

As sensor networks edge closer towards wide-spread deployment, security issues become a central concern. So far, much research has focused on making sensor networks feasible and useful, and has not concentrated on security.

We present a suite of security building blocks optimized for resource-constrained environments and wireless communication. SPINS has two secure building blocks: SNEP and mTESLA. SNEP provides the following important baseline security primitives: data confidentiality, two-party data authentication, and data freshness. A particularly hard problem is to provide efficient broadcast authentication, which is an important mechanism for sensor networks. mTESLA is a new protocol which provides authenticated broadcast for severely resource-constrained environments. We implemented the above protocols, and show that they are practical even on minimal hardware: the performance of the protocol suite easily matches the data rate of our network. Additionally, we demonstrate that the suite can be used for building higher-level protocols.