tinysec-sensys04 - TinySec A Link Layer Security...

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TinySec: A Link Layer Security Architecture for Wireless Sensor Networks Chris Karlof [email protected] UC Berkeley Naveen Sastry [email protected] UC Berkeley David Wagner [email protected] UC Berkeley ABSTRACT We introduce TinySec, the first fully-implemented link layer security architecture for wireless sensor networks. In our design, we leverage recent lessons learned from design vul- nerabilities in security protocols for other wireless networks such as 802.11b and GSM. Conventional security protocols tend to be conservative in their security guarantees, typi- cally adding 16–32 bytes of overhead. With small memories, weak processors, limited energy, and 30 byte packets, sensor networks cannot afford this luxury. TinySec addresses these extreme resource constraints with careful design; we explore the tradeoffs among different cryptographic primitives and use the inherent sensor network limitations to our advan- tage when choosing parameters to find a sweet spot for secu- rity, packet overhead, and resource requirements. TinySec is portable to a variety of hardware and radio platforms. Our experimental results on a 36 node distributed sensor net- work application clearly demonstrate that software based link layer protocols are feasible and efficient, adding less than 10% energy, latency, and bandwidth overhead. Categories and Subject Descriptors D.4.6 [ Operating Systems ]: Security and Protection Cryp- tographic controls General Terms Security, Design Keywords Sensor Network Security, Link Layer Security 1. INTRODUCTION & MOTIVATION There is considerable excitement about new applications enabled by sensor networks, and we are on the cusp of a broader deployment of these technologies. However, one Permission to make digital or hard copies of all or part of this work for personal or classroom use is granted without fee provided that copies are not made or distributed for profit or commercial advantage and that copies bear this notice and the full citation on the first page. To copy otherwise, to republish, to post on servers or to redistribute to lists, requires prior specific permission and/or a fee. SenSys’04, November 3–5, 2004, Baltimore, Maryland, USA. Copyright 2004 ACM 1-58113-879-2/04/0011 ... $ 5.00. challenge that faces us is the question of how to secure sen- sor networks: without adequate security, widespread deploy- ment could be curtailed. We have taken up this challenge and introduce TinySec, a lightweight, generic security package that developers can easily integrate into sensor network applications. We fore- see TinySec will cover the basic security needs of all but the most security critical applications. As a part of this, we were motivated by an observation about 802.11 wireless networks: several studies report that 50-80% of all 802.11 wireless networks operate in the clear, without any crypto- graphic protection whatsoever [24, 36, 37, 45]. To achieve high deployment rates in sensor networks, we believe that a security system must be easy to use and minimally impact performance. Failure to meet either requirement creates a justifiable reason for developers to leave out security.
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