Implementing Public-Key Infrastructure for Sensor Networks

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Executive Summary

Through instrumentation of UC Berkeley's TinySec module, authors argue that, although symmetric cryptography has been tractable in this domain for some time, there has remained a need, unfulfilled until recently, for an efficient, secure mechanism for distribution of secret keys among nodes. Although public-key infrastructure has been thought impractical, authors show, through analysis of the original implementation for TinyOS of point multiplication on elliptic curves, that public-key infrastructure is indeed viable for TinySec keys' distribution, even on the MICA2. Authors demonstrate that public keys can be generated within 34 seconds and that shared secrets can be distributed among nodes in a sensor network within the same time, using just over 1 kilobyte of SRAM and 34 kilobytes of ROM.

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