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  • Research Article
  • Open Access

A Flexible and Efficient Key Distribution Scheme for Renewable Wireless Sensor Networks

EURASIP Journal on Wireless Communications and Networking20092009:240610

  • Received: 1 February 2009
  • Accepted: 11 April 2009
  • Published:


Many applications of wireless sensor network require secure data communications, especially in a hostile environment. In order to protect the sensitive data and the sensor readings, secret keys should be used to encrypt the exchanged messages between communicating nodes. Traditional asymmetric key cryptosystems are infeasible in WSN due to its low capacity at each senor node. In this paper, we propose a new key distribution scheme for hierarchical WSNs with renewable network devices. Compared to some of the existing schemes, our key establishment methods possess the following features that are particularly beneficial to the resource-constrained large-scale WSNs: (1) robustness to the node capture attack, (2) flexibility for adding new network devices, (3) scalability in terms of storage cost, and (4) low communication overhead.


  • Wireless Sensor Network
  • Communication Overhead
  • Storage Cost
  • Sensor Reading
  • Network Device

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Authors’ Affiliations

School of Computer Science and Engineering, University of Aizu, Fukushima-Ken 965-8580, Japan
Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering, University of British Columbia, Vancouver, BC, Canada, V6T 1Z4


© An-Ni Shen et al. 2009

This article is published under license to BioMed Central Ltd. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.