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Mobile Information Systems
Volume 2015, Article ID 627548, 10 pages
Research Article

Enhanced Key Management Protocols for Wireless Sensor Networks

1School of Computer, Beijing University of Posts and Telecommunications, Beijing 100876, China
2State Grid Metering Center, Beijing 100192, China
3Department of Electronic Systems Engineering, Hanyang University, Ansan 426791, Republic of Korea

Received 29 August 2014; Accepted 1 September 2014

Academic Editor: David Taniar

Copyright © 2015 Baojiang Cui 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.


With rapid development and extensive use of wireless sensor networks (WSNs), it is urgent to enhance the security for WSNs, in which key management is an effective way to protect WSNs from various attacks. However, different types of messages exchanged in WSNs typically have different security requirements which cannot be satisfied by a single keying mechanism. In this study, a basic key management protocol is described for WSNs based on four kinds of keys, which can be derived from an initial master key, and an enhanced protocol is proposed based on Diffie-Hellman algorithm. The proposed scheme restricts the adverse security impact of a captured node to the rest of WSNs and meets the requirement of energy efficiency by supporting in-network processing. The master key protection, key revocation mechanism, and the authentication mechanism based on one-way hash function are, respectively, discussed. Finally, the performance of the proposed scheme is analyzed from the aspects of computational efficiency, storage requirement and communication cost, and its antiattack capability in protecting WSNs is discussed under various attack models. In this paper, promising research directions are also discussed.