A self-managing volatile key scheme for wireless sensor networks

Abdelkader Laouid*, Abdelnasser Dahmani, Hani Ragab Hassen, Ahcène Bounceur, Reinhardt Euler, Farid Lalem, Abdelkamel Tari

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

9 Citations (Scopus)


The last decade has seen major advances in Wireless Sensor Networks (WSN). The limited amount of resources in WSNs is the main challenge for securing them. Indeed, sensors are inherently small devices with limited embedded storage, processor and battery capacity. The situation is even worse when attackers, with virtually unlimited amount of resources, have direct physical access to sensors. Cryptographic keys are used for authentication, authorization, confidentiality, data integrity, as well as many other security services. Several proposals have been made for key management in WSNs. In this paper, we review some notable key management schemes and propose a new one. The originality of our work lies in two main facts: first, we do not place a master key on all sensors before deploying them as several other proposals did, but we rather place the master key in a subset of sensors; second, the master keys are volatile, i.e., sensors use the master key to bootstrap the system and they delete them shortly after that. Our extensive simulations have shown the efficiency of our approach.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)3349–3364
Number of pages16
JournalJournal of Ambient Intelligence and Humanized Computing
Issue number9
Early online date26 Mar 2018
Publication statusPublished - 1 Sept 2019


  • Distributed algorithms
  • Key management
  • Network scalability
  • Secure connectivity coverage
  • Wireless sensor networks

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Computer Science


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