A Survey on the Security of Low Power Wide Area Networks: Threats, Challenges, and Potential Solutions
- We present a comprehensive review of the security and privacy issues and attacks that affect LPWAN. The attacks are categorized under the prominent information security requirements known as Confidentiality, Integrity, and Availability (CIA triad);
- a detailed analysis of the different techniques and security solutions that have been proposed in the literature for securing LPWAN are extensively discussed. The analysis entails a comparison of the mitigation methodologies, the types of attacks mitigated, the security requirements and limitations; and
- challenges and research gap in existing LPWAN security methods and the direction for future works are broadly analyzed.
2. Related Survey Papers
3. Overview of LPWAN
3.1. Low Power Consumption
3.2. Wide or Extended Coverage
3.4. Security and Privacy
4. LPWAN Technologies
4.4. Ingenu RPMA
4.5. Narrowband Internet of Things
5. LPWAN Security Analysis
6. Comparison and Discussion
7. Research Challenges and Recommendations for Future Works
7.1. Key Management and Storage
7.2. Encryption Factors
7.3. Bootstrapping and Authentication Issue
7.5. Compromised IoT Device and Open Environment
7.6. Untrusted Gateways
Conflicts of Interest
|AES||Advanced Encryption Standard|
|BPSK||Binary Phase-Shift Keying|
|CDMA||Code Division Multiple access|
|CKA||Compromised Key Attack|
|DBPSK||Differential Binary Phase Shift Keying|
|DoS||Denial of Service|
|DSSS||Direct Sequence Spread Spectrum|
|EDHOC||Ephemeral Diffie-Hellman Over COSE|
|EEPROM||Erasable Programmable ROM|
|FEC||Forward Error Correction|
|FHMA||Frequency Hop Multiple Access|
|GFSK||Gaussian Frequency-Shift Keying|
|GMSK||Gaussian Minimum Shift Keying|
|IDS||Intrusion Detection System|
|IoT||Internet of Things|
|ICMP||Internet Control Protocol|
|ICT||Information Communication and Technology|
|ISM||Industrial Scientific and Medical|
|Kbps||Kilobits Per Second|
|KDF||Key Derivation Function|
|KLD||Kullback Leibler Divergence|
|LoRaWAN||Long Range Wide Area Network|
|LoS||Line of Sight|
|LPWAN||Low Power Wide Area Network|
|NB-IoT||Narrow Band-Internet of Thing|
|OFDMA||Orthogonal Frequency Division Multiple Access|
|PKI||Public Key Infrastructure|
|QPSK||Quadrature Phase Shift Keying|
|RPMA||Random Phase Multiple Access|
|R-FDMA||Random Frequency Division Multiple Access|
|SeLPC||Secure Low Power Communication|
|TDD||Time Division Duplex|
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|LPWAN Type||Modulation||Freq. Band||Security/Encryption||Occupied Bandwidth||MAC||Range||Max Data Rate|
|LoRa||CSS/FSK||Sub-GHz ISM: Europe (868 MHz, 433 MHz) USA (915 MHz)||AES 128 bit||250 kHz, 500 kHz and 125 kHz||ALOHA||Urban-Rural 5–20 km||50 kbps|
|Sigfox||UNB (DBPSK and GFSK)||Sub-GHz ISM: Europe (868 MHz) USA (902 MHz)||AES + no key OTA emission||UL (100–600 Hz) DL (1.5 kHz)||ALOHA R-FDMA||Urban-Rural 10–50 km||UL (100 bps) DL (600 bps)|
|NB-IoT||QPSK||LTE frequency Bands||2048-Bit RSA||200 kHz||OFDMA||15 km||UL (158.5 kbps) DL (106 kbps)|
|DASH7||GFSK||915, 433 and 868 MHz||AES 128||25 and 200 kHz||0–5 km.||167 kbps|
|Ingenu-RPMA||DSSS||2.4 GHz ISM||AES 128, 16B Hash||1 MHz||CDMA||Urban15 km, 500 km LoS||UL (624 kbps) DL (156 kbps)|
|Weightless||16QAM, offset-BPSK, QPSK, GMSK and DBPSK||Numerous Bands (sub-GHz)||AES 128/256 Bit||200 Hz - 12.5 kHz||FHMA with TDD||Up to 5 km||100 kbps|
|Refs.||Security Threat(s) Addressed||Security Requirements||Brief Summary of Approach, Highlight Strength and Limitation|
|||Problem of key updates||Confidentiality||Proposed the use of a root key update scheme for reinforcing the session key derivation security. |
Strength: Requires fewer computing resources. Offers suitable randomness of the generated updated key.
|||Replay attack||Integrity||For the blockage of repeated transmission of packets, a frame counter which involves two different 128-bit AES keys: AppSKey and NwkSKey for upstream and downstream messages exchange was proposed.|
|||Key management security flaws||Confidentiality||A trusted third-party PKI (scheme) was proposed. |
Strength: Strong key management and distribution.
Limitation: High computation involved due to the involvement of a third party. Complex join produce.
|||Key management issue||Confidentiality||Several AES-128 encryption keys at the network layer and application layer was used for data authentication and privacy respectively.|
|||Compromised key||Confidentiality||Ephemeral Diffie–Hellman Over COSE (EDHOC) approach that uses a cryptographic material derived at the application layer for updating LoRaWAN session keys is proposed. |
Strength: Low computational cost and flexibility in session keys updates.
|||Problem of key updates||Confidentiality||Proposed a dual key-based activation scheme for LoRaWAN security solution. NwkSKey and AppSKey was used in performing initial join procedure and the session key created in the initial join procedure is used for second join procedure. |
Strength: No third party involved. Secured connectivity between end devices and application server.
Limitation: Perfect forward secrecy is not guaranteed.
|||Bit flipping attack||Integrity||Proposed a shuffling method to prevent bit flipping attack. |
Strength: Prevent attackers from identifying positions of message field from bit-flipping attacks.
Limitation: Not suitable for devices with low power and low resources.
|||Replay attack||Integrity||Proposed a security protocol that comprises of a dual option (default option and security enhanced option) for preventing intruders from breaking the end-to-end security between a device and the application server. |
Strength: Supports mutual authentication, secret key exchange, perfect forward secrecy and end-to-end security.
|||Replay attack||Integrity||Proposed an AES-128 based Secure Low Power Communication (SeLPC) method to boost the security level of LoRaWAN communication. |
Strength: Efficient power consumption.
|||Replay attack||Integrity||Used sniffed join request messages to prevent replay attack. |
Strength: Fully support secure key exchange.
Limitation: The approach does not support the perfect forward secrecy nor end-to-end security.
|||Replay and Decrypt attack||Integrity||Proposed the increment in the size of DevNonce and AppNonce value with no repetition.|
|||Replay attack||Integrity||Network server store all DevNonces used in the previous join procedure in order to prevent the attack.|
|||Jamming attack||Availability||IDS that is based on KLD and HD was used for detecting jamming attacks in a LoRaWAN Network. |
Strength: Ability to detect and respond quickly to anomalous behavior.
Ability to detect new forms of attacks which might deviate from the normal behavior.
Limitation: Prone to false positives.
|||Replay and Wormhole attacks.||Integrity||Used data counter to prevent the attacks.|
|||DoS attack||Availability||The Appskey derivation mechanism need to be changed and a special case for join procedure delegation must be introduced.|
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Adefemi Alimi, K.O.; Ouahada, K.; Abu-Mahfouz, A.M.; Rimer, S. A Survey on the Security of Low Power Wide Area Networks: Threats, Challenges, and Potential Solutions. Sensors 2020, 20, 5800. https://doi.org/10.3390/s20205800
Adefemi Alimi KO, Ouahada K, Abu-Mahfouz AM, Rimer S. A Survey on the Security of Low Power Wide Area Networks: Threats, Challenges, and Potential Solutions. Sensors. 2020; 20(20):5800. https://doi.org/10.3390/s20205800Chicago/Turabian Style
Adefemi Alimi, Kuburat Oyeranti, Khmaies Ouahada, Adnan M. Abu-Mahfouz, and Suvendi Rimer. 2020. "A Survey on the Security of Low Power Wide Area Networks: Threats, Challenges, and Potential Solutions" Sensors 20, no. 20: 5800. https://doi.org/10.3390/s20205800