Abstract: WSNs finds wide applications in both military and civilian arenas of life. They consists of numerous low cost wireless devices, called sensors or nodes that deals with a lot of sensitive data. Due to resource constraints in these sensors, symmetric key systems are preferred over a public key setup in such networks; hence, both the sender and the receiver need to possess the same key prior to message exchange. This can be achieved by various techniques; the most preferred being Key Pre–distribution Schemes (KPS) for resource constraint WSNs. Such schemes involves pre–loading the symmetric cryptographic keys before deployment followed by establishing afterwards. They are refreshed periodically during successive deployment operations. My Ph.D. thesis is directed towards the analysis of existing these KPSs related to the security of WSN. This led to the observation of two major weaknesses in several KPS, namely the 'selective node attack' and the 'lack of full and direct inter-nodal communication' between nodes. For the first time in the literature of WSNs, we propose the idea of treating communication and connectivity as two separate aspects of any WSN. One may model these two aspects independently and then secure them using two different cryptographic frameworks in order to prevent the prevailing problem of 'selective node attack'. Though the connectivity design is hierarchical, our research outlined its application to distributed networks. Further, this is the first hierarchical WSN structure with the provision for (unlimited) addition and/or replacement of Cluster Heads (CH) , which results in significant improvement in network scalability. This automatically addressed the problems of jamming or capture of CH (or GN). Application of this generic idea to any deterministic KPS yields improvement in resiliency (a standard measure of network security), scalability and communication probability of the combined network. To address the issue of 'lack of full and direct inter–nodal communication' between nodes in some prominent existing designs, we proposed three unique deterministic merging techniques for those WSNs. The techniques are design specific and each assures full communication in the merged network. Critical analysis and comparative study establishes the strength of the designs. Some of the standard weaknesses present in most existing KPSs motivated us to investigate for systems that have small key ring, and yet are capable of supporting large number of nodes with appreciable resiliency, scalability and communication probability. Our research in this direction led to the proposal of a new KPS based on Unique Factorization of Polynomial Rings over Finite Fields. Barring the resiliency issue, this KPS satisfies all the above properties; and a combination of this KPS with the generic design is well equipped to meet all the desired results.
School of Mathematical Sciences
NISER, PO- Bhimpur-Padanpur, Via- Jatni, District- Khurda, Odisha, India, PIN- 752050