A cluster-based key agreement scheme using keyed hashing for Body Area Networks

Aftab Ali, Sarah Irum, Firdous Kausar, Farrukh Aslam Khan*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

29 Citations (Scopus)


In recent years, Body Area Networks (BANs) have gained immense popularity in the domain of healthcare as well as monitoring of soldiers in the battlefield. Security of a BAN is inevitable as we secure the lives of soldiers and patients. In this paper, we propose a security framework using Keyed-Hashing Message Authentication Code (HMAC-MD5) to protect the personal information in a BAN. We assume a network in which nodes sense physiological variables such as electrocardiography (EKG), electroencephalography (EEG), pulse oximeter data, blood pressure and cardiac output. Heterogeneous wireless sensor network is considered which consists of a powerful High-end sensor (H-sensor) and several Low-end sensors (L-sensors). EKG is used for secure communication between nodes as it introduces plug and play capability in BANs. The process is made secure by applying HMAC-MD5 on EKG blocks. Key agreement is done by comparing HMAC of feature blocks between sensors resulting in a more secure network. The analysis is done by calculating the entropy of keys and checking the randomness of EKG data using NIST-randomness testing suite.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)201-214
Number of pages14
JournalMultimedia Tools and Applications
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Sept 2013
Externally publishedYes


  • Body Area Network
  • Electrocardiogram
  • H-sensors
  • Hash-based Message Authentication Code (HMAC)
  • L-sensors
  • Physiological values

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Software
  • Media Technology
  • Hardware and Architecture
  • Computer Networks and Communications

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