Secure Aggregation for Wireless Networks

Lingxuan Hu and David Evans
Workshop on Security and Assurance in Ad hoc Networks. January, 2003.

An emerging class of important applications uses ad hoc wireless networks of low-power sensor devices to monitor and send information about a possibly hostile environment to a powerful base station connected to a wired network. To conserve power, intermediate network nodes should aggregate results from individual sensors. However, this opens the risk that a single compromised sensor device can render the network useless, or worse, mislead the operator into trusting a false reading. We present a protocol that provides a secure aggregation mechanism for wireless networks that is resilient to both intruder devices and single device key compromises. Our protocol is designed to work within the computation, memory and power consumption limits of inexpensive sensor devices, but takes advantage of the properties of wireless networking, as well as the power asymmetry between the devices and the base station.

Keywords: Security; ad-hoc networks; wireless; aggregation.

Complete Paper (8 pages) [PDF] [PS]

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