Document Type

Thesis - Open Access

Award Date


Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)

Department / School

Electrical Engineering and Computer Science

First Advisor

Kwanghee Won


Authentication protocol, Security, Sensor network, WBAN Wireless, Body Area Network


Since technologies have been developing rapidly, Wireless Body Area Network (WBAN) has emerged as a promising technique for healthcare systems. People can monitor patients’ body condition and collect data remotely and continuously by using WBAN with small and compact wearable sensors. These sensors can be located in, on, and around the patient’s body and measure the patient’s health condition. Afterwards sensor nodes send the data via short-range wireless communication techniques to an intermediate node. The WBANs deal with critical health data, therefore, secure communication within the WBAN is important. There are important criteria in designing a security protocol for a WBAN. Sensor nodes in a WBAN have limited computation power, battery capacity, and limited memory. Therefore, there have been many efforts to develop lightweight but secure authentication protocols. In this thesis, a computationally efficient authentication protocol based on Elliptic Curves Cryptography (ECC) and 2D hash chain has been proposed. This protocol can provide high level security and require significantly low computation power on sensor nodes. In addition, a novel key selection algorithm has been proposed to improve efficiency of key usage and reduce computation cost. For this protocol, ECC is used for key exchange and key encryption. The scheme encrypts a key with ECC to create a pair of points and uses this pair of points as keys for an intermediate node and sensor nodes. 2D hash chain technique is used for generating 2D key pool for authentication procedure. This technique can generate many keys efficiently and effectively with hash functions. For security part, this protocol provides essential security features including mutual authentication, perfect forward security, session key establishment, and etc., while providing high level security. In experimental results, this protocol reduced sensor nodes’ computation cost significantly by using combination of ECC and 2D hash chain. Moreover, the computation cost on the intermediate node has been reduced to 48.2% of the existing approach by the new key selection algorithm at an initial authentication. After the initial authentication, the intermediate node’s computation cost is further reduced to 47.1% of the initial authentication by eliminating synchronization phase. In addition, communication cost which is the total packet size of all messages is 1280-bits, which is 5392-bits smaller than the existing approach, for entire authentication and after the initial authentication the cost is reduced to 768-bits.

Library of Congress Subject Headings

Body area networks (Electronics) -- Security measures.
Wireless communication systems in medical care -- Security measures.
Wireless sensor networks.
Medical informatics -- Security measures.
Public key cryptography.
Curves, Elliptic.

Number of Pages



South Dakota State University



Rights Statement

In Copyright