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Special Issue "Blockchains in the Era of Smart Sensors"

A special issue of Sensors (ISSN 1424-8220). This special issue belongs to the section "Intelligent Sensors".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (31 December 2020).

Special Issue Editors

Prof. Dr. Massimo Vecchio
Website
Guest Editor
Engineering Faculty, eCampus University, Via Isimbardi, 10-22060 Novedrate, Italy
Interests: blockchains; edge/fog computing; distributed artificial intelligence; trustless and autonomous architectures for the IoT
Special Issues and Collections in MDPI journals
Prof. Salil Kanhere
Website
Guest Editor
School of Computer Science and Engineering, UNSW Sydney Sydney, NSW 2052, Australia
Interests: Blockchains; IoT; pervasive computing; cybersecurity; data analytics
Special Issues and Collections in MDPI journals

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Looking at the vast majority of modern centralized cloud-based infrastructures and services, including those handling data generated by smart sensors and, more generally, by connected personal devices (the “things“ of the Internet of Things, IoT, paradigm), we realize that they require unreasonable amounts of trust to be placed upon third-party authorities. This fact is essentially leading to impingement of users' privacy and could even open the doors to not-so-conspiratorial mass-surveillance programs. In an economy driven by digital data, the users through whom the massive volume of data is generated, surrender their data to centralized entities and do not stand to reap any of the economic benefits.

In this context, decentralized and trustless solutions represent the need of the hour. It follows the importance of fundamentally rethinking how the problems associated with centralized infrastructures can be solved, and how to develop new means of decentralizing the entire end-to-end technological stack, also conceiving smarter and more autonomous sensors. Towards this goal, blockchains and relevant distributed ledger technologies are currently seen as a promising instrument to implement decentralized frameworks. However, this branch of research is nascent and there are still some steep challenges to be solved.

This Special Issue is an invitation to researchers who are investigating blockchains and their applications for securing and decentralizing sensor-oriented devices and deployments in the most general meaning (smart sensors, wireless sensor networks, cyber-physical systems, crowdsourcing data, etc.). Potential topics include, but are not limited to, the following:

  • Blockchains for cyber-physical systems and wireless sensor networks;
  • Efficient consensus algorithms for blockchains for smart sensors and IoT devices;
  • Enabling sensors to interact with blockchains and distributed ledger technologies;
  • Blockchain-based business models for autonomous sensors;
  • Blockchains for sensor data crowdsourcing;
  • Blockchains for data monetization of sensor data;
  • Blockchain performance optimization for multiple IoT verticals;
  • Blockchain-based sensor/IoT device identity management, authentication, and authorization;
  • Blockchains for IoT/sensor device hardware security;
  • Blockchains for securing the IoT edge.

Assoc. Prof. Massimo Vecchio
Prof. Salil Kanhere
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.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a single-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. Sensors is an international peer-reviewed open access semimonthly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 2200 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.

Published Papers (5 papers)

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Research

Open AccessArticle
Internet of Things Based Blockchain for Temperature Monitoring and Counterfeit Pharmaceutical Prevention
Sensors 2020, 20(14), 3951; https://doi.org/10.3390/s20143951 - 16 Jul 2020
Cited by 6
Abstract
The top priority of today’s healthcare system is delivering medicine directly from the manufacturer to end-user. The pharmaceutical supply chain involves some level of commingling of a collection of stakeholders such as distributors, manufacturers, wholesalers, and customers. The biggest challenge associated with this [...] Read more.
The top priority of today’s healthcare system is delivering medicine directly from the manufacturer to end-user. The pharmaceutical supply chain involves some level of commingling of a collection of stakeholders such as distributors, manufacturers, wholesalers, and customers. The biggest challenge associated with this supply chain is temperature monitoring as well as counterfeit drug prevention. Many drugs and vaccines remain viable within a specific range of temperatures. If exposed beyond this temperature range, the medicine no longer works as intended. In this paper, an Internet of Things (IoT) sensor-based blockchain framework is proposed that tracks and traces drugs as they pass slowly through the entire supply chain. On the one hand, these new technologies of blockchain and IoT sensors play an essential role in supply chain management. On the other hand, they also pose new challenges of security for resource-constrained IoT devices and blockchain scalability issues to handle this IoT sensor-based information. In this paper, our primary focus is on improving classic blockchain systems to make it suitable for IoT based supply chain management, and as a secondary focus, applying these new promising technologies to enable a viable smart healthcare ecosystem through a drug supply chain. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Blockchains in the Era of Smart Sensors)
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Open AccessArticle
Enhancing Key Management in LoRaWAN with Permissioned Blockchain
Sensors 2020, 20(11), 3068; https://doi.org/10.3390/s20113068 - 29 May 2020
Cited by 1
Abstract
Low-Power Wide-Area Network (LPWAN) is one of the enabling technologies of the Internet of Things (IoT), and focuses on providing long distance connectivity for a vast amount of smart devices. Currently, LoRa is one of the leading LPWAN solutions available for public use. [...] Read more.
Low-Power Wide-Area Network (LPWAN) is one of the enabling technologies of the Internet of Things (IoT), and focuses on providing long distance connectivity for a vast amount of smart devices. Currently, LoRa is one of the leading LPWAN solutions available for public use. In LPWANs, especially in LoRa, security is a major concern due to the resource constraints of the devices, the sensitivity level of the transmitted data, the large amount of connected devices, among other reasons. This paper studies the key management mechanism of LoRaWAN environments. A secure architecture for key management based on smart contracts and permissioned blockchain to enhance security and availability in LoRaWAN networks is proposed. To demonstrate the feasibility of the proposed blockchain-based LoRaWAN architecture, a working prototype has been created using open-source tools and commodity hardware. Performance analysis shows that the prototype presents similar execution time and latency values, when compared to a traditional system, especially for small and medium-sized LoRaWAN networks. We also discuss why the proposed solution can be used in environments with a large number of end-devices. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Blockchains in the Era of Smart Sensors)
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Open AccessArticle
Design of Secure Protocol for Cloud-Assisted Electronic Health Record System Using Blockchain
Sensors 2020, 20(10), 2913; https://doi.org/10.3390/s20102913 - 21 May 2020
Cited by 1
Abstract
In the traditional electronic health record (EHR) management system, each medical service center manages their own health records, respectively, which are difficult to share on the different medical platforms. Recently, blockchain technology is one of the popular alternatives to enable medical service centers [...] Read more.
In the traditional electronic health record (EHR) management system, each medical service center manages their own health records, respectively, which are difficult to share on the different medical platforms. Recently, blockchain technology is one of the popular alternatives to enable medical service centers based on different platforms to share EHRs. However, it is hard to store whole EHR data in blockchain because of the size and the price of blockchain. To resolve this problem, cloud computing is considered as a promising solution. Cloud computing offers advantageous properties such as storage availability and scalability. Unfortunately, the EHR system with cloud computing can be vulnerable to various attacks because the sensitive data is sent over a public channel. We propose the secure protocol for cloud-assisted EHR system using blockchain. In the proposed scheme, blockchain technology is used to provide data integrity and access control using log transactions and the cloud server stores and manages the patient’s EHRs to provide secure storage resources. We use an elliptic curve cryptosystems (ECC) to provide secure health data sharing with cloud computing. We demonstrate that the proposed EHR system can prevent various attacks by using informal security analysis and automated validation of internet security protocols and applications (AVISPA) simulation. Furthermore, we prove that the proposed EHR system provides secure mutual authentication using BAN logic analysis. We then compare the computation overhead, communication overhead, and security properties with existing schemes. Consequently, the proposed EHR system is suitable for the practical healthcare system considering security and efficiency. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Blockchains in the Era of Smart Sensors)
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Open AccessArticle
A Distributed Oracle Using Intel SGX for Blockchain-Based IoT Applications
Sensors 2020, 20(9), 2725; https://doi.org/10.3390/s20092725 - 10 May 2020
Cited by 1
Abstract
A blockchain oracle problem is a problem that defines a mechanism for how to safely bring external data to the blockchain. Although there have been various research efforts to solve this problem, existing solutions are limited in that they do not support either [...] Read more.
A blockchain oracle problem is a problem that defines a mechanism for how to safely bring external data to the blockchain. Although there have been various research efforts to solve this problem, existing solutions are limited in that they do not support either data availability or data integrity. Furthermore, no solution has been proposed to minimize the response time when an oracle server is malicious or overloaded. This paper proposes a distributed oracle using Intel Software Guard Extensions (SGX). The proposed approach uses multiple oracle servers to support data availability. It also supports data integrity using Intel SGX and Transport Layer Security (TLS) communication. The reputation system, which favors oracle servers with short response times, minimizes the average response time even if some of the oracle servers are malicious. The benchmarking results show that the response time of the proposed approach with 3 oracle servers is only 14% slower than a centralized oracle called Town-crier and scales well even if the number of oracle servers is increased up to 9. The reputation system is also evaluated, and its feasibility is analyzed using various experiments. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Blockchains in the Era of Smart Sensors)
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Open AccessArticle
A Decentralized Peer-to-Peer Remote Health Monitoring System
Sensors 2020, 20(6), 1656; https://doi.org/10.3390/s20061656 - 16 Mar 2020
Cited by 6
Abstract
Within the Internet of Things (IoT) and blockchain research, there is a growing interest in decentralizing health monitoring systems, to provide improved privacy to patients, without relying on trusted third parties for handling patients’ sensitive health data. With public blockchain deployments being severely [...] Read more.
Within the Internet of Things (IoT) and blockchain research, there is a growing interest in decentralizing health monitoring systems, to provide improved privacy to patients, without relying on trusted third parties for handling patients’ sensitive health data. With public blockchain deployments being severely limited in their scalability, and inherently having latency in transaction processing, there is room for researching and developing new techniques to leverage the security features of blockchains within healthcare applications. This paper presents a solution for patients to share their biomedical data with their doctors without their data being handled by trusted third party entities. The solution is built on the Ethereum blockchain as a medium for negotiating and record-keeping, along with Tor for delivering data from patients to doctors. To highlight the applicability of the solution in various health monitoring scenarios, we have considered three use-cases, namely cardiac monitoring, sleep apnoea testing, and EEG following epileptic seizures. Following the discussion about the use cases, the paper outlines a security analysis performed on the proposed solution, based on multiple attack scenarios. Finally, the paper presents and discusses a performance evaluation in terms of data delivery time in comparison to existing centralized and decentralized solutions. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Blockchains in the Era of Smart Sensors)
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