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). We survey the applicable research for RF fingerprints and other security-related and authentication-related work. 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 based on well-known and proven security principles.

Additional Metadata
Persistent URL dx.doi.org/10.1109/EUC.2008.114
Conference 5th International Conference on Embedded and Ubiquitous Computing, EUC 2008
Citation
Knox, D.A., & Kunz, T. (2008). Secure authentication in wireless sensor networks using RF fingerprints. Presented at the 5th International Conference on Embedded and Ubiquitous Computing, EUC 2008. doi:10.1109/EUC.2008.114