Cryptology ePrint Archive: Report 2004/089

Security of Random Key Pre-distribution Schemes With Limited Tamper Resistance

Mahalingam Ramkumar and Nasir Memon

Abstract: Key pre-distribution (KPD) schemes, are inherently trade-offs between security and complexity, and are perhaps well suited for securing large-scale deployments of resource constrained nodes without persistent access to a trusted authority (TA). However, the need to offset their inherent security limitations, calls for some degree of tamper - resistance of nodes. Obviously, if absolute tamper-resistance is guaranteed, KPD schemes are rendered secure. In practice, however, tamper-resistance will have some limitations which will be exploited by attackers. In this paper, we analyze the security of deployments of random key pre-distribution schemes based on some assumptions on the "extent of tamper-resistance." We argue that a "limited extent of tamper resistance" when used in conjunction with a mechanism for "periodic key updates," drastically improves the security of (especially random) KPD schemes.

Category / Keywords: secret-key cryptography / Key Management, Key Pre-distribution

Publication Info: This is an expanded version of a paper submitted to USMA 2004

Date: received 6 Apr 2004

Contact author: ramkumar at cse msstate edu

Available format(s): Postscript (PS) | Compressed Postscript (PS.GZ) | PDF | BibTeX Citation

Version: 20040407:071103 (All versions of this report)

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