Secure Data Aggregation in Wireless Sensor Networks: Homomorphism versus Watermarking Approach

  • Jacques M. Bahi
  • Christophe Guyeux
  • Abdallah Makhoul
Part of the Lecture Notes of the Institute for Computer Sciences, Social Informatics and Telecommunications Engineering book series (LNICST, volume 49)


Wireless sensor networks are now in widespread use to monitor regions, detect events and acquire information. Since the deployed nodes are separated, they need to cooperatively communicate sensed data to the base station. Hence, transmissions are a very energy-consuming operation. To reduce the amount of sending data, an aggregation approach can be applied along the path from sensors to the sink. However, usually the carried information contains confidential data. Therefore, an end-to-end secure aggregation approach is required to ensure a healthy data reception. End-to-end encryption schemes that support operations over cypher-text have been proved important for private party sensor network implementations. These schemes offer two main advantages: end-to-end concealment of data and ability to operate on cipher text, then no more decryption is required for aggregation. Unfortunately, nowadays these methods are very complex and not suitable for sensor nodes having limited resources. In this paper, we propose a secure end-to-end encrypted-data aggregation scheme. It is based on elliptic curve cryptography that exploits a smaller key size. Additionally, it allows the use of higher number of operations on cypher-texts and prevents the distinction between two identical texts from their cryptograms. These properties permit to our approach to achieve higher security levels than existing cryptosystems in sensor networks. Our experiments show that our proposed secure aggregation method significantly reduces computation and communication overhead and can be practically implemented in on-the-shelf sensor platforms. By using homomorphic encryption on elliptic curves, we thus have realized an efficient and secure data aggregation in sensor networks. Lastly, to enlarge the aggregation functions that can be used in a secure wireless sensor network, a watermarking-based authentication scheme is finally proposed.


wireless sensor networks secure data aggregation authentication homomorphic encryption elliptic curves watermarking 


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Copyright information

© ICST Institute for Computer Science, Social Informatics and Telecommunications Engineering 2010

Authors and Affiliations

  • Jacques M. Bahi
    • 1
  • Christophe Guyeux
    • 1
  • Abdallah Makhoul
    • 1
  1. 1.Computer Science Laboratory (LIFC)University of Franche-ComtéBelfort CedexFrance

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