Physical unclonable functions based secret keys scheme for securing big data infrastructure communication

Fadi Farha, Huansheng Ning, Hong Liu, Laurence T. Yang, Liming (Luke) Chen

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    8 Citations (Scopus)
    6 Downloads (Pure)


    Internet of Things (IoT) is expanding rapidly and so is the number of devices, sensors and actuators joining this world. IoT devices are an important part of the data collection process in Big Data systems, so by protecting them we support and improve the security of the whole system. ZigBee is a secure communication system for the underlying Internet of Things (IoT) infrastructure. Even though ZigBee has a strong security stack built on a variety of secret keys, ZigBee devices are vulnerable to the side-channel and key extraction attacks. Due to the low cost and limited resources, most ZigBee devices store their secret keys in plaintext. In this paper, we focus on protecting the storage of ZigBee secret keys and show how Physical Unclonable Functions (PUFs) can help the ZigBee devices to be robust tamper-resistant against the physical attacks. The proposed schemes include PUF-based key storage protection and key generation. The experiments in this paper were done using SRAM-PUF. Furthermore, two algorithms were proposed to overcome the defects in the randomness of keys generated using SRAM-PUF and, at the same time, to increase the reliability of these keys. We were able to significantly improve the hardware security of ZEDs by protecting their keying materials using costless, high secure, random, stable and volatile PUF-based secret keys.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)307-318
    Number of pages12
    JournalInformation Sciences
    Early online date5 Jul 2019
    Publication statusPublished (in print/issue) - 30 Nov 2019


    • Hardware security
    • IoT Security
    • SRAM-PUF
    • Secret keys
    • Zigbee security


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