Wenjing Lou Receives Research Funding from National Science Foundation

Prof. Wenjing Lou recently received over $170,000 in funding from the National Science Foundation for a research proposal entitled, "New Approaches for Secure and Dependable Distributed Data Storage and Access Control in Mission-critical Wireless Sensor Networks."  The project will be a collaborative effort between Prof. Lou and Prof. Kui Ren (Illinois Institute of Technology). 


Distributed data storage and access in wireless sensor networks (WSNs) recently has found increased popularity driven by many mission-critical applications. While WSN security has been extensively studied in recent years with focus on network communication security, little attention has been paid on the security and dependability of distributed data storage and access control. However, it is of paramount importance to ensure data security and dependability in the mission-critical applications, where data genuineness and availability can be about life or death. This project is aimed at solving this important challenge. On the one hand, the problem of how to store the sensor network data in a distributed manner while satisfying the requirements of both fault-tolerance and compromise-resilience is studied. The problem of dynamic data security and dependability after the initial data storage is tackled as along the time sensors may be compromised and/or behave Byzantine failures. On the other hand, researches on distributed and fine-grained data access control are carried out to ensure sensor network data can only be accessed by authorized network users. The worst-case scenario is considered in which not only sensors may be compromised, but also network users may not be fully trusted.

Novel symmetric key cryptography (SKC) and public key cryptography (PCK) based approaches are proposed, built on top of the in-depth security analysis of the state-of-the-art SKC solutions and efficiency enhancements over the most recent PKC primitives such as Ciphertext Policy- and Key Policy- Attribute Based Encryption, i.e., CP-ABE and KP-ABE.

August 21, 2008