An efficient collusion resistant security mechanism for heterogeneous sensor networks

Sajid Hussain*, Firdous Kausar, Ashraf Masood, Jong Hyuk Park

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)


Purpose - As large-scale homogeneous networks suffer from high costs of communication, computation, and storage requirements, the heterogeneous sensor networks (HSN) are preferred because they provide better performance and security solutions for scalable applications in dynamic environments. Random key pre-distribution schemes are vulnerable to collusion attacks. The purpose of this paper is to propose an efficient collusion resistant security mechanism for heterogeneous sensor networks. Design/methodology/approach - The authors consider a heterogeneous sensor network (HSN) consists of a small number of powerful high-end H-sensors and a large number of ordinary low-end L-sensors. However, homogeneous sensor network (MSN) consists of only L-sensors. Since the collusion attack on key pre-distribution scheme mainly takes advantage of the globally applicable keys, which are selected from the same key pool, they update the key ring after initial deployment and generate new key rings by using one-way hash function on nodes' IDs and initial key rings. Further, in the proposed scheme, every node is authenticated by the BS in order to join the network. Findings - The analysis of the proposed scheme shows that even if a large number of nodes are compromised, an adversary can only exploit a small number of keys near the compromised nodes, while other keys in the network remain safe. Originality/value - The proposed key management scheme described in the paper outperforms the previous random key pre-distribution schemes by: considerably reducing the storage requirement, and providing more resiliency against node capture and collusion attacks.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)227-245
Number of pages19
JournalInternet Research
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Apr 3 2009
Externally publishedYes


  • Computer networks
  • Cryptography
  • Data security
  • Sensors

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Communication
  • Sociology and Political Science
  • Economics and Econometrics

Cite this