A Security Protocol for Wireless Sensor Networks

  • Chang N. Zhang
  • Qian Yu
  • Xun Huang
  • Cungang Yang
Part of the IFIP – The International Federation for Information Processing book series (IFIPAICT, volume 264)


In this paper, we present an security protocol for Wireless Sensor Networks (WSNs). It is based on the forward and backward property of RC4 states and achieves data confidentiality, data authentication, data integrity, and data freshness with low overhead and simple operation. Furthermore, an RC4-based hash function for the generation of Message Authentication Code (MAC) is presented. The proposed protocol is an ideal solution for wireless sensor networks and other resource-constrained devices where the communication nodes have limited power resources and computational capabilities, and can be widely used in the applications of one-to-one communications as well as broadcasting and multicasting.


RC4 Security Protocol Hash Function ackward Property of RC4 States Wireless Sensor Networks Resource-constrained Communications 


  1. [1]
    J. P. Kaps, G. Gaubatz, and B. Sunar. Cryptography on a Speck of Dust. IEEE Computer Magazine, Feb. 2007, pp38-44.Google Scholar
  2. [2]
    A. Perrig, R. Szewczyk, V. Wen, D. Culler, and J. D. Tygar. SPINS: Security Protocols for Sensor Networks. Wireless Networks, 2002, pp521-534.Google Scholar
  3. [3]
    I. Mantin. Analysis of the Stream Cipher RC4. Master’s thesis, The Weizmann Institute of Science, 2001.Google Scholar
  4. [4]
    W. Stallings. Cryptography and Network Security, Principles and Practice. Prentice Hall, 2003.Google Scholar
  5. [5]
    S. Mitchell and K. Srinivasan. State Based Key Hop Protocol: A Lightweight Security Protocol for Wireless Networks. In proceedings of the 1st ACM international workshop on Performance Evaluation of Wireless Ad Hoc, Sensor, and Ubiquitous Networks, 2004, pp112-118.Google Scholar
  6. [6]
    A. Stubblefield, J. loannidis, and A.D. Rubin. Using the Fluhrer, Mantin, and Shamir Attack to Break WEP. AT&T Labs Technical Report, Aug. 2001Google Scholar
  7. [7]
    S. Fluhrer, I. Mantin, and A. Shamir. Weakness in the Key Scheduling Algorithm of RC4. Proceedings, Workshop in Selected Areas of Cryptography, 2001.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© IFIP International Federation for Information Processing 2008

Authors and Affiliations

  • Chang N. Zhang
    • 1
  • Qian Yu
    • 1
  • Xun Huang
    • 1
  • Cungang Yang
    • 2
  1. 1.Department of Computer ScienceUniversity of ReginaReginaCanada
  2. 2.Department of Electrical EngineeringRyerson UniversityONTorontoCanada

Personalised recommendations