An enhancement of elliptical curve cryptography for the resource constrained wireless sensor network

  • Pritam Gajkumar Shah

Student thesis: Doctoral Thesis


Development in Micro Electro Mechanical Systems (MEMS),Very Large Scale Integration (VLSI) and Wireless Communication has opened a new domain in networking area called Wireless Sensor Networks (WSN). WSN is a special case of a Mobile Ad Hoc Networks (MANET) in which information is gathered, processed and communicated with the help of tiny wireless sensor nodes that are deployed in the field where ordinary networks are unreachable for various environmental and strategic reasons. Wireless sensor nodes use radio frequencies as a communications medium, and are vulnerable to active and passive attacks from adversaries including node capturing, frequency jamming, and various Denial of Service (DOS) attacks. Most of the ongoing research is to make WSN secure with Symmetric Key (SK) protocols but at the same time Public Key Cryptography (PKC) has received little attention from researchers. PKC is based on hardness of a mathematical problem like factoring the product of two large primes which is used in Rivest, Shamir and Adleman (RSA) algorithm or computing a discrete logarithm used in Elliptical Curve Cryptography (ECC). As compared to RSA,ECC offers the same security level but with significantly smaller key size and is the potential candidate in the near future for WSN security. For an example, a 160-bit ECC key provides the same level of security as a 1024-bit RSA key. A smaller key size in WSN means faster computation, lower power consumption, memory and bandwidth savings for the sensor nodes. Analysis and mathematical modeling of ECC is investigated in this thesis in regard to the WSN. Novel approaches combing use of mixed coordinate system, recoding of integer with One‘s Complement Subtraction (OCS) method, OCS window method to avoid Special Power Analysis (SPA) attacks, use of Dynamic Window method to avoid node failure and use of hidden generator point to avoid man-in-the-middle attack and use of uni-coordinate public key for WSN have been proposed. These six innovative, novel and industrially applicable algorithms are demonstrated which significantly improve performance of scalar multiplication processes on WSN and demonstrated to achieve node authenticity, data integrity, confidentiality on 8-bit microcontroller of sensor node. These claims are validated using simulation results obtained on MIRACL crypto library and using MATLAB analysis, appropriately provided wherever necessary.

Date of Award2010
Original languageEnglish
Awarding Institution
  • University of Canberra
SupervisorXu Huang (Supervisor) & Sharma D (Supervisor)

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