Applying Time-Bound Hierarchical Key Assignment in Wireless Sensor Networks

  • Wen Tao Zhu
  • Robert H. Deng
  • Jianying Zhou
  • Feng Bao
Part of the Lecture Notes in Computer Science book series (LNCS, volume 7043)


Access privileges in distributed systems can be effectively organized as a partial-order hierarchy that consists of distinct security classes, and are often designated with certain temporal restrictions. The time-bound hierarchical key assignment problem is to assign distinct cryptographic keys to distinct security classes according to their privileges so that users from a higher class can use their class key to derive the keys of lower classes, and these keys are time-variant with respect to sequentially allocated temporal units called time slots. In this paper, we explore applications of time-bound hierarchical key assignment in a wireless sensor network environment where there are a number of resource-constrained low-cost sensor nodes. We show time-bound hierarchical key assignment is a promising technique for addressing multiple aspects of sensor network security, such as data privacy protection and impact containment under node compromise. We also present the technical challenges and indicate future research directions.


Sensor Network Sensor Node Wireless Sensor Network Central Authority Multicast Session 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.


  1. 1.
    Sandhu, R.S.: Cryptographic implementation of a tree hierarchy for access control. Information Processing Letters 27, 95–98 (1988)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. 2.
    Zhu, W.T., Deng, R.H., Zhou, J., Bao, F.: Time-bound hierarchical key assignment: An overview. IEICE Transactions on Information and Systems E93-D, 1044–1052 (2010)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. 3.
    Akl, S.G., Taylor, P.D.: Cryptographic solution to a problem of access control in a hierarchy. ACM Transactions on Computer Systems 1, 239–248 (1983)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. 4.
    Shehab, M., Bertino, E., Ghafoor, A.: Efficient hierarchical key generation and key diffusion for sensor networks. In: Proc. 2nd Annual IEEE Communications Society Conference on Sensor and Ad Hoc Communications and Networks (SECON 2005), pp. 76–84 (2005)Google Scholar
  5. 5.
    Zhu, S., Setia, S., Jajodia, S.: LEAP+: Efficient security mechanisms for large-scale distributed sensor networks. ACM Transactions on Sensor Networks 2, 500–528 (2006)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. 6.
    Zhang, Y., Liu, W., Lou, W., Fang, Y.: Location-based compromise-tolerant security mechanisms for wireless sensor networks. IEEE Journal on Selected Areas in Communications 24, 247–260 (2006)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. 7.
    Tubaishat, M., Yin, J., Panja, B., Madria, S.: A secure hierarchical model for sensor network. ACM SIGMOD Record 33, 7–13 (2004)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. 8.
    Chen, X., Makki, K., Yen, K., Pissinou, N.: Sensor network security: A survey. IEEE Communications Surveys & Tutorials 11, 52–73 (2009)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. 9.
    Li, Z., Gong, G.: A survey on security in wireless sensor networks. Technical Report, University of Waterloo, CACR 2008-20 (October 2008)Google Scholar
  10. 10.
    Lee, J.C., Leung, V., Wong, K.H., Cao, J., Chan, H.: Key management issues in wireless sensor networks: Current proposals and future developments. IEEE Wireless Communications 14, 76–84 (2007)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. 11.
    Sorniotti, A., Molva, R., Gomez, L.: Efficient access control for wireless sensor data. In: Proc. 19th IEEE International Symposium on Personal, Indoor and Mobile Radio Communications (PIMRC 2008), pp. 1–5 (2008)Google Scholar
  12. 12.
    Jiang, Y., Lin, C., Shi, M., Shen, X.: Self-healing group key distribution with time-limited node revocation for wireless sensor networks. Ad Hoc Networks 5, 14–23 (2007)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. 13.
    Lupu, E., Dulay, N., Sloman, M., Sventek, J., Heeps, S., Strowes, S., Twidle, K., Keoh, S.-L., Schaeffer-Filho, A.: AMUSE: autonomic management of ubiquitous e-Health systems. Concurrency and Computation: Practice and Experience 20, 277–295 (2008)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. 14.
    Leavitt, N.: Researchers fight to keep implanted medical devices safe from hackers. Computer 43, 11–14 (2010)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. 15.
    Wong, C.K., Gouda, M., Lam, S.S.: Secure group communications using key graphs. IEEE/ACM Transactions on Networking 8, 16–30 (2000)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. 16.
    Naor, D., Naor, M., Lotspiech, J.: Revocation and Tracing Schemes for Stateless Receivers. In: Kilian, J. (ed.) CRYPTO 2001. LNCS, vol. 2139, pp. 41–62. Springer, Heidelberg (2001)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. 17.
    Xu, S.: On the security of group communication schemes. Journal of Computer Security 15, 129–169 (2007)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. 18.
    Briscoe, B.: MARKS: Zero Side Effect Multicast Key Management Using Arbitrarily Revealed Key Sequences. In: Rizzo, L., Fdida, S. (eds.) NGC 1999. LNCS, vol. 1736, pp. 301–320. Springer, Heidelberg (1999)CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  • Wen Tao Zhu
    • 1
  • Robert H. Deng
    • 2
  • Jianying Zhou
    • 3
  • Feng Bao
    • 3
  1. 1.State Key Lab of Information SecurityGraduate University of Chinese Academy of SciencesBeijingChina
  2. 2.School of Information SystemsSingapore Management UniversitySingapore
  3. 3.Cryptography and Security DepartmentInstitute for Infocomm ResearchSingapore

Personalised recommendations