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Collaborative security for the internet of things

Abstract : This thesis addresses new security challenges in the Internet of Things (IoT). The current transition from legacy Internet to Internet of Things leads to multiple changes in its communication paradigms. Wireless sensor networks (WSNs) initiated this transition by introducing unattended wireless topologies, mostly made of resource constrained nodes, in which radio spectrum therefore ceased to be the only resource worthy of optimization. Today's Machine to Machine (M2M) and Internet of Things architectures further accentuated this trend, not only by involving wider architectures but also by adding heterogeneity, resource capabilities inconstancy and autonomy to once uniform and deterministic systems. The heterogeneous nature of IoT communications and imbalance in resources capabilities between IoT entities make it challenging to provide the required end-to-end secured connections. Unlike Internet servers, most of IoT components are characterized by low capabilities in terms of both energy and computing resources, and thus, are unable to support complex security schemes. The setup of a secure end-to-end communication channel requires the establishment of a common secret key between both peers, which would be negotiated relying on standard security key exchange protocols such as Transport Layer Security (TLS) Handshake or Internet Key Exchange (IKE). Nevertheless, a direct use of existing key establishment protocols to initiate connections between two IoT entities may be impractical because of the technological gap between them and the resulting inconsistencies in their cryptographic primitives. The issue of adapting existing security protocols to fulfil these new challenges has recently been raised in the international research community but the first proposed solutions failed to satisfy the needs of resource-constrained nodes. In this thesis, we propose novel collaborative approaches for key establishment designed to reduce the requirements of existing security protocols, in order to be supported by resource-constrained devices. We particularly retained TLS handshake, Internet key Exchange and HIP BEX protocols as the best keying candidates fitting the end-to-end security requirements of the IoT. Then we redesigned them so that the constrained peer may delegate its heavy cryptographic load to less constrained nodes in neighbourhood exploiting the spatial heterogeneity of IoT nodes. Formal security verifications and performance analyses were also conducted to ensure the security effectiveness and energy efficiency of our collaborative protocols. However, allowing collaboration between nodes may open the way to a new class of threats, known as internal attacks that conventional cryptographic mechanisms fail to deal with. This introduces the concept of trustworthiness within a collaborative group. The trustworthiness level of a node has to be assessed by a dedicated security mechanism known as a trust management system. This system aims to track nodes behaviours to detect untrustworthy elements and select reliable ones for collaborative services assistance. In turn, a trust management system is instantiated on a collaborative basis, wherein multiple nodes share their evidences about one another's trustworthiness. Based on an extensive analysis of prior trust management systems, we have identified a set of best practices that provided us guidance to design an effective trust management system for our collaborative keying protocols. This effectiveness was assessed by considering how the trust management system could fulfil specific requirements of our proposed approaches for key establishment in the context of the IoT. Performance analysis results show the proper functioning and effectiveness of the proposed system as compared with its counterparts that exist in the literature
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Submitted on : Monday, November 4, 2013 - 6:49:24 PM
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  • HAL Id : tel-00879790, version 1

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Yosra Ben Saied. Collaborative security for the internet of things. Economics and Finance. Institut National des Télécommunications, 2013. English. ⟨NNT : 2013TELE0013⟩. ⟨tel-00879790⟩

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