ASSURE: A Hardware-Based Security Protocol for Resource-Constrained IoT Systems

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Yılmaz Y., Aniello L., Halak B.

Journal of Hardware and Systems Security, vol.5, no.1, pp.1-18, 2021 (Peer-Reviewed Journal)


The internet of Things technology is expected to generate tremendous economic benefits; this promise is undermined by major security threats. This is mainly due to the ubiquitous nature of this technology, which makes it easy for potential adversities to have access to IoT devices and carry well-established attacks. The development of defence mechanisms, in this case, is a challenging task, this is due to the fact that most IoT devices have limited computing and energy resources, which makes it hard to implement classic cryptographic algorithms. This paper address this challenge by proposing a lightweight mutual authentication and key agreement protocol named ASSURE based on Rivest Cipher (RC5) and physically unclonable functions (PUFs). To understand the effectiveness of this protocol, a rigorous security analysis under various cyberattack scenarios is performed. In order to evaluate the overheads of the proposed solution, a wireless sensor network using typical IoT devices called Zolertia Zoul re-mote, is constructed. The functionality of the proposed scheme is verified using a server-client configuration. Then energy consumption and memory utilisation are estimated and compared with the existing solutions, namely: the DTLS (datagram transport layer security) handshake protocol in pre-shared secret (Key) mode and UDP (user datagram protocol). Experimental analysis results indicate that the proposed protocol can save up to 39.5% energy and uses 14% less memory compared to the DTLS handshake protocol.