A compromise-resilient pair-wise rekeying protocol in hierarchical wireless sensor networks

Song Guo, An Ni Shen

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic researchpeer-review

11 Citations (Scopus)


The wireless sensor networks (WSNs) are normally operated in unattended, harsh, or hostile environment. In order to protect the sensitive data and the sensor readings for many WSN applications that require secure communications, secret pairwise keys should be used to encrypt the exchanged messages between communicating nodes. Some strategies have been proposed to develop the pair-wise rekeying protocol. However, most existing schemes suffer the large-scale node capture attacks. In this paper, we propose a perturbation-based pair-wise rekeying scheme for a hierarchical WSN. Compared with existing schemes, our rekeying method possesses the following features that are particularly beneficial to the resource-constrained large-scale WSNs. (1) This scheme is highly robust to the largescale node capture attacks. Even after a large number of nodes have been compromised, the pairwise keys shared by non-compromised nodes remain secure. (2) It also guarantees that any two nodes can directly establish a pairwise key without exposing any secret to other nodes. This full and direct key establishment features enable our scheme every adaptive to support node addition and mobility for real-world applications. (3) Our performance analysis also shows that the proposed scheme incurs low communication, storage, and computation overhead.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)397-405
Number of pages9
JournalComputer Systems Science and Engineering
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - 1 Nov 2010
Externally publishedYes


  • Key management
  • Rekeying
  • Wireless sensor network

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Control and Systems Engineering
  • Theoretical Computer Science
  • General Computer Science


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