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Sensors 2013, 13(12), 16512-16532; doi:10.3390/s131216512

R2NA: Received Signal Strength (RSS) Ratio-Based Node Authentication for Body Area Network

, , *  and
State Key Laboratory of Information Photonics and Optical Communications, Beijing University of Posts and Telecommunications, Beijing 100876, China
* Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 10 October 2013 / Revised: 20 November 2013 / Accepted: 22 November 2013 / Published: 2 December 2013
(This article belongs to the Section Physical Sensors)
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The body area network (BAN) is an emerging branch of wireless sensor networks for personalized applications. The services in BAN usually have a high requirement on security, especially for the medical diagnosis. One of the fundamental directions to ensure security in BAN is how to provide node authentication. Traditional research using cryptography relies on prior secrets shared among nodes, which leads to high resource cost. In addition, most existing non-cryptographic solutions exploit out-of-band (OOB) channels, but they need the help of additional hardware support or significant modifications to the system software. To avoid the above problems, this paper presents a proximity-based node authentication scheme, which only uses wireless modules equipped on sensors. With only one sensor and one control unit (CU) in BAN, we could detect a unique physical layer characteristic, namely, the difference between the received signal strength (RSS) measured on different devices in BAN. Through the above-mentioned particular difference, we can tell whether the sender is close enough to be legitimate. We validate our scheme through both theoretical analysis and experiments, which are conducted on the real Shimmer nodes. The results demonstrate that our proposed scheme has a good security performance.
Keywords: authentication; body area network; sensor; RSS ratio authentication; body area network; sensor; RSS ratio
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY) which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

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Wu, Y.; Wang, K.; Sun, Y.; Ji, Y. R2NA: Received Signal Strength (RSS) Ratio-Based Node Authentication for Body Area Network. Sensors 2013, 13, 16512-16532.

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