As an essential part of Internet of Things (IoT), wireless sensor networks (WSNs) have touched every aspect of our lives, such as health monitoring, environmental monitoring and traffic monitoring. However, due to its openness, wireless sensor networks are vulnerable to various security threats. User authentication, as the first fundamental step to protect systems from various attacks, has attracted much attention. Numerous user authentication protocols armed with formal proof are springing up. Recently, two biometric-based schemes were proposed with confidence to be resistant to the known attacks including offline dictionary attack, impersonation attack and so on. However, after a scrutinization of these two schemes, we found them not secure enough as claimed, and then demonstrated that these schemes suffer from various attacks, such as offline dictionary attack, impersonation attack, no user anonymity, no forward secrecy, etc. Furthermore, we proposed an enhanced scheme to overcome the identified weaknesses, and proved its security via Burrows–Abadi–Needham (BAN) logic and the heuristic analysis. Finally, we compared our scheme with other related schemes, and the results showed the superiority of our scheme.
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