Secure authentication in wireless sensor networks is complicated by the promiscuous nature of the wireless transmission medium and by the limited hardware and software capabilities of the nodes in such networks. We analyze the requirements for using RF fingerprints to initialize secure authenticated links in a wireless sensor network for a surveillance application that allows older people to remain in their homes longer (termed the 'Aging in Place' application). Based on the lessons learned from our literature survey, we show that RF fingerprints alone are inadequate for authentication. We present a new authentication protocol based on digital credentials that binds together physical-layer RF fingerprint data with higher cryptographic protocol layer data which is practical, but also based on well-known and proven security principles.

doi.org/10.1109/WiMob.2008.18
4th IEEE International Conference on Wireless and Mobile Computing, Networking and Communication, WiMob 2008
Department of Systems and Computer Engineering

Knox, D.A., & Kunz, T. (2008). RF fingerprints for secure authentication in single-hop WSN. Presented at the 4th IEEE International Conference on Wireless and Mobile Computing, Networking and Communication, WiMob 2008. doi:10.1109/WiMob.2008.18