We study the secure distributed detection problems under energy constraint for IoT-oriented sensor networks. The conventional channel-aware encryption (CAE) is an efficient physical-layer secure distributed detection scheme in light of its energy efficiency, good scalability and robustness over diverse eavesdropping scenarios. However, in the CAE scheme, it remains an open problem of how to optimize the key thresholds for the estimated channel gain, which are used to determine the sensor’s reporting action. Moreover, the CAE scheme does not jointly consider the accuracy of local detection results in determining whether to stay dormant for a sensor. To solve these problems, we first analyze the error probability and derive the optimal thresholds in the CAE scheme under a specified energy constraint. These results build a convenient mathematic framework for our further innovative design. Under this framework, we propose a hybrid secure distributed detection scheme. Our proposal can satisfy the energy constraint by keeping some sensors inactive according to the local detection confidence level, which is characterized by likelihood ratio. In the meanwhile, the security is guaranteed through randomly flipping the local decisions forwarded to the fusion center based on the channel amplitude. We further optimize the key parameters of our hybrid scheme, including two local decision thresholds and one channel comparison threshold. Performance evaluation results demonstrate that our hybrid scheme outperforms the CAE under stringent energy constraints, especially in the high signal-to-noise ratio scenario, while the security is still assured.
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