Paper 2004/089

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

Mahalingam Ramkumar and Nasir Memon


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.

Available format(s)
Secret-key cryptography
Publication info
Published elsewhere. This is an expanded version of a paper submitted to USMA 2004
Key ManagementKey Pre-distribution
Contact author(s)
ramkumar @ cse msstate edu
2004-04-07: received
Short URL
Creative Commons Attribution


      author = {Mahalingam Ramkumar and Nasir Memon},
      title = {Security of Random Key Pre-distribution Schemes With Limited Tamper Resistance},
      howpublished = {Cryptology ePrint Archive, Paper 2004/089},
      year = {2004},
      note = {\url{}},
      url = {}
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