Asynchronous Group Key Distribution on Top of the CC2420 Security Mechanisms for Sensor Networks

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A sensor network is a network consisting of small, inexpensive, low-powered sensor nodes that communicate to complete a common task. Sensor nodes are characterized by having limited communication and computation capabilities, energy, and storage. They often are deployed in hostile environments creating a demand for encryption and authentication of the messages sent between them. Due to severe resource constraints on the sensor nodes, efficient key distribution schemes and secure communication protocols with low overhead are desired. In this paper, the authors present an asynchronous group key distribution scheme with no time synchronization requirements. The scheme decreases the number of key updates by providing them on an as needed basis according to the amount of network traffic.