Special Issue "IoT Security and Privacy through the Blockchain"

A special issue of Electronics (ISSN 2079-9292). This special issue belongs to the section "Networks".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: 31 August 2021.

Special Issue Editors

Prof. Dr. Fernando De la Prieta
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Blockchain, far beyond bitcoin, has produced an unprecedented revolution in the security and reliability of many Internet services and applications. IoT is not exempt from this revolution whereby the blockchain allows it to securely store measured data and use these data to determine the compliance with the conditions of a smart contract (e.g., to check if the temperature of food during the transportation is below a given threshold). However, blockchain only guarantees the immutability of data once they reach the blockchain, while data or sensors themselves can be faked or emulated and, therefore, additional security and privacy measures must be imposed to sensors at the edge level.

New solutions have arisen to deal with the mentioned problem, such as new consensus mechanisms among sensors in the wireless networks, or the introduction of crypto-elements in the circuit boards. This Special Issue expects innovative work to explore new frontiers and challenges in the field of IoT security and privacy under the umbrella of blockchain and distributed ledger technologies, including the mentioned crypto-sensors, distributed consensus mechanisms, encryption algorithms, fault tolerance mechanisms for IoT, etc.

The particular topics of interest include, but are not limited to:

  • Architectures and platforms for blockchain and IoT
  • Distributed consensus mechanisms for the IoT
  • Crypto-elements for the security in IoT
  • Encryption algorithms for the IoT
  • Fod/edge computing and sidechains for IoT security and privacy
  • Blockchain for forensics in IoT
  • Fault tolerance mechanisms for IoT
  • Energy efficiency in IoT data hashing
  • Redundancy for IoT data security and privacy
  • Virtualization for IoT data security and privacy
  • Standardization for IoT and blockchain convergence
  • IoT malicious transactions detection
  • Other blockchain applications for the IoT

Dr. Javier Prieto
Dr. Fernando De la Prieta Pintado
Guest Editors

Manuscript Submission Information

Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All papers will be peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

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Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 1800 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.

Keywords

  • IoT, blockchain
  • crypto-elements
  • security
  • privacy
  • encryption
  • consensus

Published Papers (6 papers)

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Research

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Article
Design and Hardware Implementation of a Simplified DAG-Based Blockchain and New AES-CBC Algorithm for IoT Security
Electronics 2021, 10(9), 1127; https://doi.org/10.3390/electronics10091127 - 10 May 2021
Viewed by 350
Abstract
Recently, to enhance the security of the Internet of Things (IoT), research on blockchain-based encryption algorithms has been actively conducted. However, because blockchains have complex structures and process large amounts of data, there are still many difficulties in using the conventional blockchain-based encryption [...] Read more.
Recently, to enhance the security of the Internet of Things (IoT), research on blockchain-based encryption algorithms has been actively conducted. However, because blockchains have complex structures and process large amounts of data, there are still many difficulties in using the conventional blockchain-based encryption algorithms in an IoT system that must have low power consumption and be ultra-lightweight. In this study, to address these problems (1) we simplified the conventional Directed Acyclic Graph (DAG)-based blockchain structure, and (2) we proposed a new Advanced Encryption Standard (AES)-Cipher Block Chaining (CBC) algorithm with enhanced security by periodically changing the secret key and initialization vector (IV) in the conventional AES-CBC encryption algorithm. Because the DAG, which is the conventional blockchain structure, randomly transmits data to multiple blocks, there may be overlapping blocks, and the quantity of transmitted data is not limited; thus, the time and power consumption for encryption and decryption increase. In this study, a simplified DAG was designed to address these problems so that packets can be transmitted only to three blocks, without overlapping. Finally, to verify the effectiveness of the algorithm proposed in this paper, an IoT system consisting of 10 clients and one server was implemented in hardware, and an experiment was conducted. Through the experiment, it was confirmed that when the proposed AES-CBC algorithm was used, the time taken and the amount of power consumed for encryption and decryption were reduced by about 20% compared to the conventional AES-CBC algorithm. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue IoT Security and Privacy through the Blockchain)
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Article
Fusion Chain: A Decentralized Lightweight Blockchain for IoT Security and Privacy
Electronics 2021, 10(4), 391; https://doi.org/10.3390/electronics10040391 - 05 Feb 2021
Viewed by 597
Abstract
As the use of internet of things (IoT) devices increases, the importance of security has increased, because personal and private data such as biometrics, images, photos, and voices can be collected. However, there is a possibility of data leakage or manipulation by monopolizing [...] Read more.
As the use of internet of things (IoT) devices increases, the importance of security has increased, because personal and private data such as biometrics, images, photos, and voices can be collected. However, there is a possibility of data leakage or manipulation by monopolizing the authority of the data, since such data are stored in a central server by the centralized structure of IoT devices. Furthermore, such a structure has a potential security problem, caused by an attack on the server due to single point vulnerability. Blockchain’s, through their decentralized structure, effectively solve the single point vulnerability, and their consensus algorithm allows network participants to verify data without any monopolizing. Therefore, blockchain technology becomes an effective solution for solving the security problem of the IoT’s centralized method. However, current blockchain technology is not suitable for IoT devices. Blockchain technology requires large storage space for the endless append-only block storing, and high CPU processing power for performing consensus algorithms, while its opened block access policy exposes private data to the public. In this paper, we propose a decentralized lightweight blockchain, named Fusion Chain, to support IoT devices. First, it solves the storage size issue of the blockchain by using the interplanetary file system (IPFS). Second, it does not require high computational power by using the practical Byzantine fault tolerance (PBFT) consensus algorithm. Third, data privacy is ensured by allowing only authorized users to access data through public key encryption using PKI. Fusion Chain was implemented from scratch written using Node.js and golang. The results show that the proposed Fusion Chain is suitable for IoT devices. According to our experiments, the size of the blockchain dramatically decreased, and only 6% of CPU on an ARM core, and 49 MB of memory, is used on average for the consensus process. It also effectively protects privacy data by using a public key infrastructure (PKI). Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue IoT Security and Privacy through the Blockchain)
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Article
Identity and Access Management Resilience against Intentional Risk for Blockchain-Based IOT Platforms
Electronics 2021, 10(4), 378; https://doi.org/10.3390/electronics10040378 - 04 Feb 2021
Viewed by 2898
Abstract
Some Internet of Things (IoT) platforms use blockchain to transport data. The value proposition of IoT is the connection to the Internet of a myriad of devices that provide and exchange data to improve people’s lives and add value to industries. The blockchain [...] Read more.
Some Internet of Things (IoT) platforms use blockchain to transport data. The value proposition of IoT is the connection to the Internet of a myriad of devices that provide and exchange data to improve people’s lives and add value to industries. The blockchain technology transfers data and value in an immutable and decentralised fashion. Security, composed of both non-intentional and intentional risk management, is a fundamental design requirement for both IoT and blockchain. We study how blockchain answers some of the IoT security requirements with a focus on intentional risk. The review of a sample of security incidents impacting public blockchains confirm that identity and access management (IAM) is a key security requirement to build resilience against intentional risk. This fact is also applicable to IoT solutions built on a blockchain. We compare the two IoT platforms based on public permissionless distributed ledgers with the highest market capitalisation: IOTA, run on an alternative to a blockchain, which is a directed acyclic graph (DAG); and IoTeX, its contender, built on a blockchain. Our objective is to discover how we can create IAM resilience against intentional risk in these IoT platforms. For that, we turn to complex network theory: a tool to describe and compare systems with many participants. We conclude that IoTeX and possibly IOTA transaction networks are scale-free. As both platforms are vulnerable to attacks, they require resilience against intentional risk. In the case of IoTeX, DIoTA provides a resilient IAM solution. Furthermore, we suggest that resilience against intentional risk requires an IAM concept that transcends a single blockchain. Only with the interplay of edge and global ledgers can we obtain data integrity in a multi-vendor and multi-purpose IoT network. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue IoT Security and Privacy through the Blockchain)
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Article
Blockchain-Based Secure Storage Management with Edge Computing for IoT
Electronics 2019, 8(8), 828; https://doi.org/10.3390/electronics8080828 - 25 Jul 2019
Cited by 12 | Viewed by 2545
Abstract
As a core technology to manage decentralized systems, blockchain is gaining much popularity to deploy such applications as smart grid and healthcare systems. However, its utilization in resource-constrained mobile devices is limited due to high demands of resources and poor scalability with frequent-intensive [...] Read more.
As a core technology to manage decentralized systems, blockchain is gaining much popularity to deploy such applications as smart grid and healthcare systems. However, its utilization in resource-constrained mobile devices is limited due to high demands of resources and poor scalability with frequent-intensive transactions. Edge computing can be integrated to facilitate mobile devices in offloading their mining tasks to cloud resources. This integration ensures reliable access, distributed computation and untampered storage for scalable and secure transactions. It is imperative therefore that crucial issues of security, scalability and resources management be addressed to achieve successful integration. Studies have been conducted to explore suitable architectural requirements, and some researchers have applied the integration to deploy some specific applications. Despite these efforts, however, issues of anonymity, adaptability and integrity still need to be investigated further to attain a practical, secure decentralized data storage. We based our study on peer-to-peer and blockchain to achieve an Internet of Things (IoT) design supported by edge computing to acquire security and scalability levels needed for the integration. We investigated existing blockchain and associated technologies to discover solutions that address anonymity, integrity and adaptability issues for successful integration of blockchain in IoT systems. The discovered solutions were then incorporated in our conceptual design of the decentralized application prototype presented for secure storage of IoT data and transactions. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue IoT Security and Privacy through the Blockchain)
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Article
Scalable and Secure Internet of Things Connectivity
Electronics 2019, 8(7), 752; https://doi.org/10.3390/electronics8070752 - 03 Jul 2019
Cited by 9 | Viewed by 1473
Abstract
The Internet of things (IoT) technology, which is currently considered the new growth engine of the fourth industrial revolution, affects our daily life and has been applied to various industrial fields. Studies on overcoming the limitations of scalability and stability in a centralized [...] Read more.
The Internet of things (IoT) technology, which is currently considered the new growth engine of the fourth industrial revolution, affects our daily life and has been applied to various industrial fields. Studies on overcoming the limitations of scalability and stability in a centralized IoT operating environment by employing distributed blockchain technology have been actively conducted. However, the nature of IoT that ensures connectivity with multiple objects at any time and any place increases security threats. Further, it extends the influence of the cyber world into the physical domain, resulting in serious damage to human life and property. Therefore, we aim to study a method to increase the security of IoT devices and effectively extend them simultaneously. To this end, we analyze the authentication methods and limitations of traditional IoT devices and examine cases for improving IoT environments by using blockchain technology. Accordingly, we propose a framework that allows IoT devices to be securely connected and extended to other devices by automatically evaluating security using blockchain technology and the whitelist. The method proposed in this paper restricts the extension of devices vulnerable to security risks by imposing penalties and allows only devices with high security to be securely and quickly authenticated and extended without user intervention. In this study, we applied the proposed method to IoT network simulation environments and observed that the number of devices vulnerable to security was reduced by 48.5% compared with traditional IoT environments. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue IoT Security and Privacy through the Blockchain)
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Review

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Review
A Review on Edge Computing in Smart Energy by means of a Systematic Mapping Study
Electronics 2020, 9(1), 48; https://doi.org/10.3390/electronics9010048 - 28 Dec 2019
Cited by 13 | Viewed by 2306
Abstract
Context: Smart Energy is a disruptive concept that has led to the emergence of new energy policies, technology projects, and business models. The development of those models is driven by world capitals, companies, and universities. Their purpose is to make the electric [...] Read more.
Context: Smart Energy is a disruptive concept that has led to the emergence of new energy policies, technology projects, and business models. The development of those models is driven by world capitals, companies, and universities. Their purpose is to make the electric power system more efficient through distributed energy generation/storage, smart meter installation, or reduction of consumption/implementation costs. This work approaches Smart Energy as a paradigm that is concerned with systemic strategies involving the implementation of innovative technological developments in energy systems. However, many of the challenges encountered under this paradigm are yet to be overcome, such as the effective integration of solutions within Smart Energy systems. Edge Computing is included in this new technology group. Objective: To investigate developments that involve the use of Edge Computing and that provide solutions to Smart Energy problems. The research work will be developed using the methodology of systematic mapping of literature, following the guidelines established by Kitchenham and Petersen that facilitate the identification of studies published on the subject. Results: Inclusion and exclusion criteria have been applied to identify the relevant articles. We selected 80 papers that were classified according to the type of publication (journal, conferences, or book chapter), type of research (conceptual, experience, or validation), type of activity (implement, validate, analyze) and asset (architecture, framework, method, or models). Conclusion: A complete review has been conducted of the 80 articles that were closely related to the questions posed in this research. To reach the goal of building Edge Computing architectures for Smart Energy environments, several lines of research have been defined. In the future, such architectures will overcome current problems, becoming highly energy-efficient, cost-effective, and capacitated to process and respond in real-time. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue IoT Security and Privacy through the Blockchain)
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