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Security and Privacy in Wireless Sensor Networks: Advances and Challenges

A special issue of Sensors (ISSN 1424-8220). This special issue belongs to the section "Sensor Networks".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (31 October 2019) | Viewed by 57564

Special Issue Editor

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Wireless sensor networks (WSN) have evolved over the last few decades due to the availability of low-cost, short-range sensors and their easy deployment. WSN systems focus on sensing and transmitting the real-time sense information of specific monitoring environments for back-end systems for further processing and analysis. However, due to the publicity of wireless communication channels, security and privacy concerns regarding WSN systems are becoming a hot topic of discussion. This Special Issue aims to solicit state-of-the-art research articles on advanced technologies for WSN systems, which encompass all types of research activities such as the design, development, challenges and application/service models. Moreover, we invite researchers to contribute review articles on the continuing efforts that will lead to future improvements in WSN security and privacy.

Prof. Dr. Cheng-Chi Lee
Guest Editor

Manuscript Submission Information

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Keywords

  • Security aspects and requirements in WSN applications
  • Authentication and identification techniques for WSN systems
  • Privacy and trust issues in WSN systems
  • Cryptographic protocols for WSN systems
  • Cryptanalysis and security attacks in WSN systems
  • WSN applications and services
  • WSN challenges and opportunities
  • Radio frequency identification (RFID) in WSN systems
  • Blockchain technology for WSN systems
  • Deep learning of security issues in WSN systems

Published Papers (13 papers)

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Editorial

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3 pages, 165 KiB  
Editorial
Security and Privacy in Wireless Sensor Networks: Advances and Challenges
by Cheng-Chi Lee
Sensors 2020, 20(3), 744; https://doi.org/10.3390/s20030744 - 29 Jan 2020
Cited by 28 | Viewed by 4504
Abstract
Wireless sensor networks (WSNs) have evolved over the last few decades due to the availability of low-cost, short-range and easy deployed sensors [...] Full article

Research

Jump to: Editorial

18 pages, 300 KiB  
Article
A Generic Model of the Pseudo-Random Generator Based on Permutations Suitable for Security Solutions in Computationally-Constrained Environments
by Tomislav Unkašević, Zoran Banjac and Milan Milosavljević
Sensors 2019, 19(23), 5322; https://doi.org/10.3390/s19235322 - 3 Dec 2019
Cited by 8 | Viewed by 4335
Abstract
Symmetric cryptography methods have an important role in security solutions design in data protection. In that context, symmetric cryptography algorithms and pseudo-random generators connected with them have strong influence on designed security solutions. In the computationally constrained environment, security efficiency is also important. [...] Read more.
Symmetric cryptography methods have an important role in security solutions design in data protection. In that context, symmetric cryptography algorithms and pseudo-random generators connected with them have strong influence on designed security solutions. In the computationally constrained environment, security efficiency is also important. In this paper we proposed the design of a new efficient pseudo-random generator parameterized by two pseudo-random sequences. By the probabilistic, information-theoretic and number theory methods we analyze characteristics of the generator. Analysis produced several results. We derived sufficient conditions, regarding parameterizing sequences, so that the output sequence has uniform distribution. Sufficient conditions under which there is no correlation between parameterizing sequences and output sequence are also derived. Moreover, it is shown that mutual information between the output sequence and parameterizing sequences tends to zero when the generated output sequence length tends to infinity. Regarding periodicity, it is shown that, with appropriately selected parameterizing sequences, the period of the generated sequence is significantly longer than the periods of the parameterizing sequences. All this characteristics are desirable regarding security applications. The efficiency of the proposed construction can be achieved by selection parameterizing sequences from the set of efficient pseudo-random number generators, for example, multiple linear feedback shift registers. Full article
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19 pages, 707 KiB  
Article
Crowdsourced Security Reconstitution for Wireless Sensor Networks: Secrecy Amplification
by Radim Ostadal, Vashek Matyas, Petr Svenda and Lukas Nemec
Sensors 2019, 19(22), 5041; https://doi.org/10.3390/s19225041 - 19 Nov 2019
Cited by 5 | Viewed by 2434
Abstract
Research in the area of security for Wireless Sensor Networks over the past two decades has yielded many interesting findings. We focus on the topic of (re-)securing link keys between sensor nodes through so-called secrecy amplification (SA) protocols. Crowdsourcing is at the very [...] Read more.
Research in the area of security for Wireless Sensor Networks over the past two decades has yielded many interesting findings. We focus on the topic of (re-)securing link keys between sensor nodes through so-called secrecy amplification (SA) protocols. Crowdsourcing is at the very heart of these SA protocols. Not only do SA protocols work wonders even for low-level constrained nodes with no tamper resistance, they exhibit astonishing performance in networks under significant attacker control. Our work shows that even when 50% of all network links are compromised, SA protocols can re-secure over 90% of the link keys through an intriguingly simple crowdsourcing mechanism. These protocols allow us to re-take control without any broadly coordinated cooperation, without knowledge of the compromised links, with only very limited knowledge of each particular network node and independently of decisions made by other nodes. Our article first outlines the principles of and presents existing approaches to SA, introducing most of the important related concepts, then presents novel conclusive results for a realistic attacker model parametrised by attacker behaviour and capabilities. We undertook this work using two very different simulators, and we present here the results of analyses and detailed comparisons that have not previously been available. Finally, we report the first real, non-simulated network test results for the most attractive SA protocol, our implementations of which are available as open-source code for two platforms: Arduino and TinyOS. This work demonstrates the practical usability (and the attractive performance) of SA, serving as a ripe technology enabler for (among others) networks with many potentially compromised low-level devices. Full article
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20 pages, 3274 KiB  
Article
Designing an Image Encryption Scheme Based on Compressive Sensing and Non-Uniform Quantization for Wireless Visual Sensor Networks
by Qian Shen, Wenbo Liu, Yi Lin and Yongjun Zhu
Sensors 2019, 19(14), 3081; https://doi.org/10.3390/s19143081 - 12 Jul 2019
Cited by 8 | Viewed by 2690
Abstract
Wireless visual sensor networks (WVSN) have been widely used to capture images in the fields of monitoring, intelligent transportation, and reconnaissance in recent years. Because of the wireless transmission mode and the huge amount of image data, major challenges in this application are [...] Read more.
Wireless visual sensor networks (WVSN) have been widely used to capture images in the fields of monitoring, intelligent transportation, and reconnaissance in recent years. Because of the wireless transmission mode and the huge amount of image data, major challenges in this application are frequent information stealing, big data problems, and harsh communication circumstances. Some encryption schemes based on compressive sensing (CS) and chaotic systems have been proposed to cope with these threats, but most of them are vulnerable against the chosen-plaintext attack (CPA). To remedy these defects, this paper designs a novel method based on non-uniform quantization (NQ). Then, in order to evaluate the true compression ratio (CR), our work takes into account limited data precision in cipher images, while most papers ignored this fact and calculated CR with the assumption of infinite data precision. Besides, to eliminate the periodic windows in the bifurcation diagram of the logistic map (LM), an optimized logistic map (OLM) is designed. Furthermore, simulation results prove that the performance of anti-jamming in the proposed cryptosystem is better than that in existing schemes under the condition of strong noise interference or severe data loss. In conclusion, the proposed method could improve the performance of security and anti-jamming for WVSN. Full article
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15 pages, 4341 KiB  
Article
Implementing RSA for Wireless Sensor Nodes
by Utku Gulen, Abdelrahman Alkhodary and Selcuk Baktir
Sensors 2019, 19(13), 2864; https://doi.org/10.3390/s19132864 - 27 Jun 2019
Cited by 11 | Viewed by 4694
Abstract
As wireless sensor networks (WSNs) become more widespread, potential attacks against them also increase and applying cryptography becomes inevitable to make secure WSN nodes. WSN nodes typically contain only a constrained microcontroller, such as MSP430, Atmega, etc., and running public key cryptography on [...] Read more.
As wireless sensor networks (WSNs) become more widespread, potential attacks against them also increase and applying cryptography becomes inevitable to make secure WSN nodes. WSN nodes typically contain only a constrained microcontroller, such as MSP430, Atmega, etc., and running public key cryptography on these constrained devices is considered a challenge. Since WSN nodes are spread around in the field, the distribution of the shared private key, which is used in a symmetric key cryptographic algorithm for securing communications, is a problem. Thus, it is necessary to use public key cryptography to effectively solve the key distribution problem. The RSA cryptosystem, which requires at least a 1024-bit key, is the most widely used public key cryptographic algorithm. However, its large key size is considered a drawback for resource constrained microcontrollers. On the other hand, RSA allows for extremely fast digital signature generation which may make it desirable in applications where messages transmitted by sensor nodes need to be authenticated. Furthermore, for compatibility with an existing communication infrastructure, it may be desirable to adopt RSA in a WSN setting. With this work, we show that, in spite of its long key size, RSA is applicable for wireless sensor networks when optimized arithmetic, low-level coding and some acceleration algorithms are used. We pick three versions of the MSP430 microcontroller, which is used widely on wireless sensor network nodes, and implement 1024-bit RSA on them. Our implementation achieves 1024-bit RSA encryption and decryption operations on MSP430 in only 0.047 s and 1.14 s, respectively. In order to achieve these timings, we utilize several acceleration techniques, such as the subtractive Karatsuba-Ofman, Montgomery multiplication, operand scanning, Chinese remainder theorem and sliding window method. To the best of our knowledge, our timings for 1024-bit RSA encryption and decryption operations are the fastest reported timings in the literature for the MSP430 microcontroller. Full article
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30 pages, 7955 KiB  
Article
A Framework for Constructing a Secure Domain of Sensor Nodes
by Janusz Furtak, Zbigniew Zieliński and Jan Chudzikiewicz
Sensors 2019, 19(12), 2797; https://doi.org/10.3390/s19122797 - 21 Jun 2019
Cited by 9 | Viewed by 3036
Abstract
Application of the Internet of Things (IoT) in some critical areas (e.g., military) is limited mainly due to the lack of robust, secure, and trusted measures needed to ensure the availability, confidentiality, and integrity of information throughout its lifecycle. Considering the mostly limited [...] Read more.
Application of the Internet of Things (IoT) in some critical areas (e.g., military) is limited mainly due to the lack of robust, secure, and trusted measures needed to ensure the availability, confidentiality, and integrity of information throughout its lifecycle. Considering the mostly limited resources of IoT devices connected by wireless networks and their dynamic placement in unsupervised or even hostile environments, security is a complex and considerable issue. In this paper, a framework which encompasses an approach to integrate some security measures to build a so-called “secure domain of sensors nodes” is proposed. The framework is based on the use of the Trusted Platform Modules (TPMs) in wireless sensor nodes. It encompasses an architecture of sensor nodes, their roles in the domain, and the data structures as well as the developed procedures which could be applied to generate the credentials for the sensor nodes, and subsequently, to build a local trust structure of each node as well as to build a trust relationship between a domain’s nodes. The proposed solution ensures the authentication of sensor nodes and their resistance against unauthorized impact with the hardware/software configuration allowing protection against malware that can infect the software. The usefulness of the presented framework was confirmed experimentally. Full article
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23 pages, 3348 KiB  
Article
A Secure and Efficient Data Sharing and Searching Scheme in Wireless Sensor Networks
by Binrui Zhu, Willy Susilo, Jing Qin, Fuchun Guo, Zhen Zhao and Jixin Ma
Sensors 2019, 19(11), 2583; https://doi.org/10.3390/s19112583 - 6 Jun 2019
Cited by 7 | Viewed by 3059
Abstract
Wireless sensor networks (WSN) generally utilize cloud computing to store and process sensing data in real time, namely, cloud-assisted WSN. However, the cloud-assisted WSN faces new security challenges, particularly outsourced data confidentiality. Data Encryption is a fundamental approach but it limits target data [...] Read more.
Wireless sensor networks (WSN) generally utilize cloud computing to store and process sensing data in real time, namely, cloud-assisted WSN. However, the cloud-assisted WSN faces new security challenges, particularly outsourced data confidentiality. Data Encryption is a fundamental approach but it limits target data retrieval in massive encrypted data. Public key encryption with keyword search (PEKS) enables a data receiver to retrieve encrypted data containing some specific keyword in cloud-assisted WSN. However, the traditional PEKS schemes suffer from an inherent problem, namely, the keyword guessing attack (KGA). KGA includes off-line KGA and on-line KGA. To date, the existing literature on PEKS cannot simultaneously resist both off-line KGA and on-line KGA performed by an external adversary and an internal adversary. In this work, we propose a secure and efficient data sharing and searching scheme to address the aforementioned problem such that our scheme is secure against both off-line KGA and on-line KGA performed by external and internal adversaries. We would like to stress that our scheme simultaneously achieves document encryption/decryption and keyword search functions. We also prove our scheme achieves keyword security and document security. Furthermore, our scheme is more efficient than previous schemes by eliminating the pairing computation. Full article
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28 pages, 3711 KiB  
Article
Vulnerability Assessment of Sensor Systems
by Andrzej Bialas
Sensors 2019, 19(11), 2518; https://doi.org/10.3390/s19112518 - 1 Jun 2019
Cited by 7 | Viewed by 4471
Abstract
There are more and more applications of sensors in today’s world. Moreover, sensor systems are getting more complex and they are used for many high-risk security-critical purposes. Security assurance is a key issue for sensors and for other information technology (IT) products. Still, [...] Read more.
There are more and more applications of sensors in today’s world. Moreover, sensor systems are getting more complex and they are used for many high-risk security-critical purposes. Security assurance is a key issue for sensors and for other information technology (IT) products. Still, sensor security facilities and methodologies are relatively poor compared to other IT products. That is why a methodical approach to the sensor IT security is needed, i.e., risk management, implementation of countermeasures, vulnerability removal, and security evaluation and certification. The author proposes to apply the main security assurance methodology specified in ISO/IEC 15408 Common Criteria to solve specific security problems of sensors. A new Common Criteria compliant method is developed which specifies the vulnerability assessment process and related data in a structured way. The input/output data of the introduced elementary evaluation processes are modeled as ontology classes to work out knowledge bases. The validation shows that sensor-specific knowledge can be acquired during the vulnerability assessment process and then placed in knowledge bases and used. The method can be applied in different IT products, especially those with few certifications, such as sensors. The presented methodology will be implemented in a software tool in the future. Full article
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18 pages, 9533 KiB  
Article
Self-Embedding Authentication Watermarking with Effective Tampered Location Detection and High-Quality Image Recovery
by Chin-Feng Lee, Jau-Ji Shen, Zhao-Ru Chen and Somya Agrawal
Sensors 2019, 19(10), 2267; https://doi.org/10.3390/s19102267 - 16 May 2019
Cited by 28 | Viewed by 3272
Abstract
Recently, sensor networks have emerged as a high-impact research area, and a number of high profile applications have been proposed. Although significant progress has already been made on securing basic network protocols, additional research is needed to produce techniques and methods for protecting [...] Read more.
Recently, sensor networks have emerged as a high-impact research area, and a number of high profile applications have been proposed. Although significant progress has already been made on securing basic network protocols, additional research is needed to produce techniques and methods for protecting canonical tasks in wireless sensor networks. In this paper, we propose an effective self-embedding authentication watermarking method for tampered location detection and image recovery. The proposed detection method is classified into block-wise and pixel-wise. In block-wise detection, if the size of the block is small, the false positive rate (FPR) will be low. In pixel-wise detection, when the tampered pixels are detected, only the corresponding pixel area is marked. Therefore, the FPR will be lower than that of the block-wise detection. The experimental results demonstrate that the proposed method was effective, and accurate tamper detection and high-quality recovery can be realized even in highly tampered images. Full article
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23 pages, 3788 KiB  
Article
eHAPAC: A Privacy-Supported Access Control Model for IP-Enabled Wireless Sensor Networks
by Fagui Liu, Yangyu Tang and Liangming Wang
Sensors 2019, 19(7), 1513; https://doi.org/10.3390/s19071513 - 28 Mar 2019
Cited by 4 | Viewed by 3043
Abstract
The implementation of IP technology in wireless sensor networks has promoted the development of many smart scenarios. To enhance secure access in IP-enabled wireless sensor networks, access control to sensor nodes is a necessary process. However, access control currently faces two challenges, feasibility [...] Read more.
The implementation of IP technology in wireless sensor networks has promoted the development of many smart scenarios. To enhance secure access in IP-enabled wireless sensor networks, access control to sensor nodes is a necessary process. However, access control currently faces two challenges, feasibility and preservation of user access privacy. In this paper, we propose eHAPAC, a novel privacy-preserving access control model for IP-enabled wireless sensor networks. The contributions of our paper include three parts. First, this paper integrates the Hidra access control protocol and APAC privacy-preserving model, addressing the issue of privacy-preserving access control in resource-constrained devices. Second, this paper proposes an enhanced Hidra protocol to implement the unlinkability of protocol message exchanges. Third, to solve the problem of third party credibility, this paper improves the group signature-based APAC model and utilizes blockchain technology to manage the storage and publication of public group signature keys. Security analysis and performance evaluation prove that our protocol is secure and effective. Full article
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19 pages, 1414 KiB  
Article
A Trusted Routing Scheme Using Blockchain and Reinforcement Learning for Wireless Sensor Networks
by Jidian Yang, Shiwen He, Yang Xu, Linweiya Chen and Ju Ren
Sensors 2019, 19(4), 970; https://doi.org/10.3390/s19040970 - 25 Feb 2019
Cited by 127 | Viewed by 8533
Abstract
A trusted routing scheme is very important to ensure the routing security and efficiency of wireless sensor networks (WSNs). There are a lot of studies on improving the trustworthiness between routing nodes, using cryptographic systems, trust management, or centralized routing decisions, etc. However, [...] Read more.
A trusted routing scheme is very important to ensure the routing security and efficiency of wireless sensor networks (WSNs). There are a lot of studies on improving the trustworthiness between routing nodes, using cryptographic systems, trust management, or centralized routing decisions, etc. However, most of the routing schemes are difficult to achieve in actual situations as it is difficult to dynamically identify the untrusted behaviors of routing nodes. Meanwhile, there is still no effective way to prevent malicious node attacks. In view of these problems, this paper proposes a trusted routing scheme using blockchain and reinforcement learning to improve the routing security and efficiency for WSNs. The feasible routing scheme is given for obtaining routing information of routing nodes on the blockchain, which makes the routing information traceable and impossible to tamper with. The reinforcement learning model is used to help routing nodes dynamically select more trusted and efficient routing links. From the experimental results, we can find that even in the routing environment with 50% malicious nodes, our routing scheme still has a good delay performance compared with other routing algorithms. The performance indicators such as energy consumption and throughput also show that our scheme is feasible and effective. Full article
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15 pages, 1306 KiB  
Article
Wireless Sensor Networks Intrusion Detection Based on SMOTE and the Random Forest Algorithm
by Xiaopeng Tan, Shaojing Su, Zhiping Huang, Xiaojun Guo, Zhen Zuo, Xiaoyong Sun and Longqing Li
Sensors 2019, 19(1), 203; https://doi.org/10.3390/s19010203 - 8 Jan 2019
Cited by 119 | Viewed by 8453
Abstract
With the wide application of wireless sensor networks in military and environmental monitoring, security issues have become increasingly prominent. Data exchanged over wireless sensor networks is vulnerable to malicious attacks due to the lack of physical defense equipment. Therefore, corresponding schemes of intrusion [...] Read more.
With the wide application of wireless sensor networks in military and environmental monitoring, security issues have become increasingly prominent. Data exchanged over wireless sensor networks is vulnerable to malicious attacks due to the lack of physical defense equipment. Therefore, corresponding schemes of intrusion detection are urgently needed to defend against such attacks. Considering the serious class imbalance of the intrusion dataset, this paper proposes a method of using the synthetic minority oversampling technique (SMOTE) to balance the dataset and then uses the random forest algorithm to train the classifier for intrusion detection. The simulations are conducted on a benchmark intrusion dataset, and the accuracy of the random forest algorithm has reached 92.39%, which is higher than other comparison algorithms. After oversampling the minority samples, the accuracy of the random forest combined with the SMOTE has increased to 92.57%. This shows that the proposed algorithm provides an effective solution to solve the problem of class imbalance and improves the performance of intrusion detection. Full article
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25 pages, 483 KiB  
Article
A Secure and Efficient Group Key Management Protocol with Cooperative Sensor Association in WBANs
by Haowen Tan and Ilyong Chung
Sensors 2018, 18(11), 3930; https://doi.org/10.3390/s18113930 - 14 Nov 2018
Cited by 33 | Viewed by 3199
Abstract
The wireless body area network (WBAN) is considered as one of the emerging wireless techniques in the healthcare system. Typical WBAN sensors, especially implantable sensors, have limited power capability, which restricts their wide applications in the medical environment. In addition, it is necessary [...] Read more.
The wireless body area network (WBAN) is considered as one of the emerging wireless techniques in the healthcare system. Typical WBAN sensors, especially implantable sensors, have limited power capability, which restricts their wide applications in the medical environment. In addition, it is necessary for the healthcare center (HC) to broadcast significant notifications to different patient groups. Considering the above issues, in this paper, the novel practical WBAN system model with group message broadcasting is built. Subsequently, a secure and efficient group key management protocol with cooperative sensor association is proposed. In the proposed protocol, the Chinese remainder theorem (CRT) is employed for group key management between HC and the personal controller (PC), which also supports batch key updating. The proposed sensor association scheme is motivated by coded cooperative data exchange (CCDE). The formal security proofs are presented, indicating that the proposed protocol can achieve the desired security properties. Moreover, performance analysis demonstrates that the proposed protocol is efficient compared with state-of-the-art group key management protocols. Full article
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