Security architecture for wireless sensor networks: Master's thesis

Mikko Ala-Louko

Research output: ThesisMaster's thesis


This work presents the design, implementation and evaluation of a security ar- chitecture, targeted for smart environments that consist of ordinary, everyday objects with embedded wireless sensor network nodes. The security solution is integrated into a platform-independent middleware layer, that facilitates appli- cation development for these kinds of smart spaces. Consequently, the security architecture provides a constant level of security for applications, running on top of the middleware, that is independent of the underlying networking and hard- ware resources. To support the design process, a state-of-the-art survey on the current security solutions in wireless sensor networks is provided. In general level, the architecture consists of the middleware-level security solu- tion and a security management tool. The goal of the middleware-level security solution is to establish secure channels between the nodes of the network. To achieve this goal, the general security requirements of wireless sensor networks and the unique requirements set by the middleware had to be taken into account. As a result, the middleware-level solution was designed to utilize only symmet- ric cryptography. Due to the unavailability of the chosen security mechanisms for the used platform, a block cipher algorithm and a mode of operation were implemented as part of the work. The security management tool was designed to provide a novel, close prox- imity communications-based solution to the initial key distribution in the smart environment. The idea of the approach is to have the security management tool running in the user’s mobile device, which is then used to perform the necessary securitymanagement operations in the network fromtouching distance of a node. The approach conveniently solves the problem of confidentiality associated with the security management operations. The results of the evaluation proved the basic functionalities of the whole se- curity architecture to function as designed. The resource consumption of the middleware-level security solution turned out to be larger than the most light- weight solutions currently available. However, our solution builds on a stronger cryptographic foundation. The applicability of the close proximity key distribu- tion with the security management tool provided positive results
Original languageEnglish
QualificationMaster Degree
Awarding Institution
  • University of Oulu
Place of PublicationOulu
Publication statusPublished - 2010
MoE publication typeG2 Master's thesis, polytechnic Master's thesis


  • Software security
  • smart spaces
  • resource-constrained systems


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