Security protocols suite for machine-to-machine systems
ColaboratorDohler, Mischa; Hernández Serrano, Juan; Universitat Politècnica de Catalunya. Departament d'Enginyeria Telemàtica
Document typeDoctoral thesis
PublisherUniversitat Politècnica de Catalunya
Rights accessOpen Access
Nowadays, the great diffusion of advanced devices, such as smart-phones, has shown that there is a growing trend to rely on new technologies to generate and/or support progress; the society is clearly ready to trust on next-generation communication systems to face today’s concerns on economic and social fields. The reason for this sociological change is represented by the fact that the technologies have been open to all users, even if the latter do not necessarily have a specific knowledge in this field, and therefore the introduction of new user-friendly applications has now appeared as a business opportunity and a key factor to increase the general cohesion among all citizens. Within the actors of this technological evolution, wireless machine-to-machine (M2M) networks are becoming of great importance. These wireless networks are made up of interconnected low-power devices that are able to provide a great variety of services with little or even no user intervention. Examples of these services can be fleet management, fire detection, utilities consumption (water and energy distribution, etc.) or patients monitoring. However, since any arising technology goes together with its security threats, which have to be faced, further studies are necessary to secure wireless M2M technology. In this context, main threats are those related to attacks to the services availability and to the privacy of both the subscribers’ and the services providers’ data. Taking into account the often limited resources of the M2M devices at the hardware level, ensuring the availability and privacy requirements in the range of M2M applications while minimizing the waste of valuable resources is even more challenging. Based on the above facts, this Ph. D. thesis is aimed at providing efficient security solutions for wireless M2M networks that effectively reduce energy consumption of the network while not affecting the overall security services of the system. With this goal, we first propose a coherent taxonomy of M2M network that allows us to identify which security topics deserve special attention and which entities or specific services are particularly threatened. Second, we define an efficient, secure-data aggregation scheme that is able to increase the network lifetime by optimizing the energy consumption of the devices. Third, we propose a novel physical authenticator or frame checker that minimizes the communication costs in wireless channels and that successfully faces exhaustion attacks. Fourth, we study specific aspects of typical key management schemes to provide a novel protocol which ensures the distribution of secret keys for all the cryptographic methods used in this system. Fifth, we describe the collaboration with the WAVE2M community in order to define a proper frame format actually able to support the necessary security services, including the ones that we have already proposed; WAVE2M was funded to promote the global use of an emerging wireless communication technology for ultra-low and long-range services. And finally sixth, we provide with an accurate analysis of privacy solutions that actually fit M2M-networks services’ requirements. All the analyses along this thesis are corroborated by simulations that confirm significant improvements in terms of efficiency while supporting the necessary security requirements for M2M networks.
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