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International Journal of Distributed Sensor Networks
Volume 2012 (2012), Article ID 547471, 8 pages
Research Article

A Secure Hierarchical Key Management Scheme in Wireless Sensor Network

1School of Electronic Engineering, Beijing University of Posts and Telecommunications, Beijing 100876, China
2Department of Production & Technology, State Grid Information & Telecommunication Company Ltd. , Beijing 100761, China
3IoT Center, State Grid Electric Power Research Institute, Nanjing 210003, China
4College of Computer Science & Information Engineering, Tianjin University of Science & Technology, Tianjin 300222, China

Received 12 June 2012; Revised 28 July 2012; Accepted 12 August 2012

Academic Editor: Hailun Tan

Copyright © 2012 Yiying Zhang et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Due to the vulnerable environment, limited recourse and open communication channel, wireless sensor networks (WSNs) are necessary to be protected from various attacks. The key management is an important way to protect the communication in WSNs. In this paper, we present a hierarchical key management scheme (HKMS) which can efficiently enhance the security and survivability for the clustered WSNs. Different from previous works, the HKMS distributes keys based on hop counts and one-way function by the clustered architecture, which not only localizes the key things but also has no overhead. The HKMS provides the session keys among sensors and the cluster key between the cluster head and member nodes. The HKMS dynamically generates different keys based on different hops in different periods which can protect the network from the compromised nodes and reduce the high probability of the common keys without any special sensors (such as the anchor nodes). The security analysis and simulation show the HKMS can prevent several attacks effectively and reduce the energy consumption.