ENERGY EFFICIENT SECURITY FOR WIRELESS SENSOR NETWORKS
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This thesis presents two main achievements. The first is a novel link-layer encryption protocol for wireless sensor networks. The protocol design aims to reduce energy consumption by reducing security-related communication overhead. This is done by merging security-related data of consecutive packets. The merging is based on simple mathematical operations. It helps to reduce energy consumption by eliminating the requirement to transmit security-related fields in the packet. The protocol is named the Compact Security Protocol and is referred to as C-Sec. In addition to energy savings, the C-Sec protocol also includes a unique security feature of hiding the packet header information. This feature makes it more difficult to trace the flow of wireless communication, and helps to minimize the effect of replay attacks. The C-Sec protocol is rigorously tested and compared with well-known related protocols. Performance evaluations demonstrate that C-Sec protocol outperforms other protocols in terms of energy savings. The protocol is evaluated with respect to other performance metrics including queuing delay and error probability. The C-Sec operation requires fast encryption, which leads to a second major contribution: The SN-Sec, a 32-bit RISC secure wireless sensor platform with hardware cryptographic primitives. The security vulnerabilities in current WSNs platforms are scrutinized and the main approaches to implementing their cryptographic primitives are compared in terms of security, time, and energy efficiency. The SN-Sec secures these vulnerabilities and provides more time and energy efficiency. The choice of cryptographic primitives for SN-Sec is based on their compatibility with the constrained nature of WSNs and their security. The AES implementation has the best data-path and S-Box design in the literature. All SHA family members are implemented and compared to choose the most compatible with WSN constraints. An efficient elliptic-curve processor design is proposed. It has the least mathematical operations compared to elliptic-curve processors proposed for WSNs in the literature. It also exploits parallelism among mathematical operations to compute elliptic-curve point multiplication with minimal amount of clock cycles. SN-Sec is implemented using VHDL. Experimental results using synthesis for Spartan-6 low-power FPGA shows that the proposed design has very reasonable computational time and energy consumption.