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Implementation of security algorithm for wireless

sensor networks over multimedia images

Neha Bisht, Joel Thomas Dr. Thanikaiselvan V

School of Electronics Engineering School of Electronics Engineering
VIT University VIT University
Vellore, Tamil Nadu, 632014 Vellore, Tamil Nadu, 632014
nehabisht773@gmail.com thanikaiselvan@vit.ac.in

Abstract— With the growing needs of technology and same. One of the prime concern is data security. The
connectivity with the internet, a huge role is laid on WSN for information that the sensor obtains, needs to be processed and
many different applications. Say health care, traffic surveillance, transmitted to the sink, which is then given to the base station
smart house or most importantly in the defence area, sensor and is available for the end users via the internet. Wireless
networks play a crucial role. This is why sensor networks pose
Sensor Networks are vulnerable to security attacks due to the
unique security challenges because of their inherent limitations in
communication and computing. Dense deployment of sensor broadcast nature of the transmission medium [4]. How far the
networks in an unattended environment makes sensor nodes data is reliable depends on the level and type of security that
vulnerable to potential attacks. With these demands, the has been encompassed to prevent it from any third party
confidentiality, integrity and authentication of the communicated intruder getting access to those vital information and being
information becomes very important. In this paper, we have misused. There are many solutions to the security problems of
focused on a lightweight encryption method which encompasses WSN’s such as, routing security, secure placement of nodes
faster encryption thereby, bringing down the computing time and cryptography .Since WSN has limited energy and
which increases the overall lifetime of the sensor network. The processing power for nodes, it makes it quite difficult to
introduction of both symmetric and asymmetric cryptography in
the two phase hybrid encryption algorithm, check marks the
implement traditional security algorithms for these networks.
main aim of cryptography, i.e, Confidentiality, Integrity and To restrain these issues, various security algorithms have been
Authenticity. Moreover hybrid encryption attempts to exploit the proposed in order to achieve security requirements, i.e
advantages of both symmetric and asymmetric encryption. Confidentiality, Authentication and Integrity. Confidentiality
means keeping the message secret from a third party user.
Keywords— Cryptography; Reversible data Hiding; Arnold Authentication ensures that the unauthorized parties do not
Transformation; Difference expansion participate in the network. Integrity make it certain to the
receiver that the received data is not modified by an adversary.
I. INTRODUCTION Authentication provides data integrity also.
Wireless sensor networks (WSN’s) are formed by a set of
nodes that gather information and forward it to the sink [1]. The process of encoding the original information in such a
Sensor nodes are compact, application specific, has low way that it cannot be read by hacker is known as Encryption.
energy needs and possess capabilities of sensing It is of two types: Symmetric and Asymmetric. Symmetric
environmental changes, signal processing and wireless Cryptography uses single key to encrypt and decrypt the
communication. Rapid advances in the areas of sensor design, information whereas asymmetric cryptography requires
information technologies, and wireless networks have led the different key for encryption and decryption. Both these
way for the proliferation of wireless sensor network [2]. techniques have their own advantages and disadvantages.
Dominance of which can be realized in many important While symmetric algorithm is cost effective and provides data
applications such as - habitat monitoring in nature reserves, security compromising key distribution, asymmetric algorithm
environmental monitoring for climatic changes, surveillance provides excellent key distribution however it is slow and
of buildings, in healthcare where it is often referred to as consumes more computer resources. Hybrid Encryption takes
wireless medical sensor network, surveillance of enemy areas advantages of both symmetric and asymmetric encryption.
and in the defense.
In this paper, a hybrid encryption algorithm is proposed
The potential advantage of networked sensing over the which includes two phases of work. First phase takes the
conventional approach, can be summarized as greater advantage of AES along with Arnold transformation for key
coverage, accuracy and reliability at a possibly lower cost [3]. generation and RSA which adds up to the security of the
Besides the advantages of deploying a WSN in critical algorithm. Second phase focuses on data authentication where
applications, one should be aware of the limitations of the reversible data hiding technique (RDH) is used rather than
digital watermarking. This is done because in RDH the exact III. THE PROPOSED HYBRID ENCRYPTION TECHNIQUE
image and the marker can be extracted, hence providing a The hybrid encryption technique includes two phases of work
lossless data hiding while digital watermarking is referred as simultaneously. In Phase- 1, it takes the benefit of both
lossy data hiding as the cover image extracted at the receiver symmetric and asymmetric cryptographic techniques using
side is not the exact replica of the original one, thus both AES and RSA algorithms. The initial key for AES is
introducing error in the form of distortion. provided by the Arnold transformation [10]. In Phase- 2, the
encrypted data obtained from the latter algorithms is given to
Organization of this work is as follows. Literature survey is the RDH system which provides data integrity by using the
presented in Section 2 followed by the proposed encryption difference expansion explained further in this paper [11].
algorithm introduced in Section 3. Sections 4 and 5 present the The combination of AES – RSA with RDH (Difference
obtained results and comparison of the proposed algorithm Expansion) is done to have double layer of security and to
with existing algorithms, respectively. Finally, the conclusion provide high operation speed, high security performance and
and future work is presented in Section 6 and 7. strong usability.

II. LITERATURE SURVEY Encryption process

When it comes to apply security algorithm in WSN two major 1. Plain Image is divided into n blocks (Bi) of size 4x4
problems arises. One is the overload that the algorithms put (128 bits). It is further divided into two parts of n/2 blocks
over the original data and second is the availability of memory each, Pi (0 : n/2-1) and Qi (n/2 : n-1) respectively.
in the sensor nodes. The algorithm should be developed
keeping in mind the two mentioned factors which affects the n/2 - 1
life of a device and an entire range of network. A hybrid Pi = ∑ (Bi) 0 ≤ i ≤ n/2 - 1 (1)
algorithm design is proposed by Kumar N (2012). In this i=0

algorithm, AES and ECC are used for encrypting the given 2. Key Generation is done using Arnold transformation. A
plain text respectively. MD5 is used to take the hash value of 4x4 randomly generated matrix which is used as a key can be
encrypted text. [5].This algorithm takes a longer execution easily scrambled using the same.
time because the plain text is sequentially encrypted by the
given algorithms. In Zhu S (2011), a hybrid method is K j = ACM transform= (k) , 0 ≤ j ≤ L -1 (2)
proposed where the plain text is encrypted using symmetric
cipher algorithm and key and digital signature are encrypted Where, k is randomly generated 4x4 matrix, and value of L is
with asymmetric key algorithm [6]. Here the message is 16
encrypted in a single phase which leads to less complexity and
therefore, suffers from low security level. In Ren and Miao 2.1 Scrambling through Arnold transformation can be
(2010), another hybrid architecture is proposed, where DES achieved by following process:
algorithm is used for data transmission and RSA for the
encryption of the key of DES [7]. This algorithm is considered Let X = [x y] be an element of 4x4 randomly generated
weak because DES is rather an old cryptographic algorithm matrix, the transformation is as follows :
which uses 64 bit block cipher to encrypt and is classed as low
security for the modern scenario. T[x y] ÆT [x+y x+2y] mod n (3)

Other research works by Subasree and Sakthivel (2010) Where, mod is the modulo of T [x+y x+2y] and n
and the works by Dubal, Mahesh and Ghosh (2011) [8]
presents methods where combinations of algorithms are used, 3. Encryption for the first part is done using AES algorithm.
each having its own pros and cons. Both of the works The initial key is obtained from the previous step.
basically uses asymmetric encryption algorithms (ECC and
DUAL RSA) in different manners which is slow compared to Ri = EAES ( Kj, Pi ) (4)
symmetric encryption [9].
Where, Ri is the obtained cipher text, Kj is the generated key
The previous works, some of which as mentioned above, and Pi is the message block to be encrypted.
has helped in understanding the key ingredients that must be
made available and what must be omitted while developing Note: We are using AES- 128 block cipher for this algorithm.
security algorithm for modern WSN scenario. The factors
such as less complexity, more time for encryption, low level 4. Encryption for the second part Qi is done using RSA which
of security must be avoided and this is what is inferred from uses stream cipher where each 4x4 block needs to be
the works of previous researches. converted into 128 bit stream.
Qi = ∑ (Bi) n/2 ≤ i ≤ n-1 (5)
i=n/2 A. PSNR
Si = (Bi)e mod x (6) Quality of image can be measured using Peak Signal-to-Noise
ratio. It is an expression for ratio between the highest possible
Here, two prime numbers are chosen arbitrarily, p and q. power of a signal and distorting noise that influence the
Then, x = p × q, ϕ(x) = (p − 1) × (q − 1). A number relatively quality of its representation.
prime to ϕ is selected, d. Then, e is calculated such
that e × d = 1 mod ϕ(x), and Public key (e, x) is used for PSNR = 20 log10 {(MAX f)/√MSE} (13)
encryption. Where, MAX f is the maximum pixel value.
5. At the final stage of the encryption process, the two n/2 Table 4.1: PSNR for different sample inputs
cipher blocks (Ri and Si) are integrated to generate a cipher Image PSNR (Between PSNR(Between
image of n blocks (Ci) and it is sent for authentication. encrypted image marked image and
and original original image)
6. Difference expansion algorithm is used for data hiding and
ensuring the authenticity.
Lena 9.0647 8.5836
Hi=DE (Ci) (7) Cameraman 9.8964 9.4891
Coins 9.2785 9.1620
Where, Hi is data hided image using DE algorithm Peppers 8.7497 8.6262
Child 10.5727 10.4145
6.1. The DE embedding method involves coupling the Circuit 8.4961 8.3616
adjacent pixels of the host image and converting them into a Board 8.7156 8.4447
low-pass image (containing integer averages) and a high-pass Onion 9.1609 8.9455
image (containing pixel differences). Consider if x and y be Rice 10.1398 9.7196
the intensity values of a pixel-pair, then l and h will be defined Saturn 9.1609 8.9410
The PSNR values between the original and the encrypted
l=(x+y)/2 (8) h=x–y (9) image must be infinite for a noiseless image, this implies that
there exists a inverse relation between PSNR and the added
A message bit b∈{0,1} is embedded by appending it to the noise to an image. From the values in table 4.1 we obtain
LSB of h difference, hence creating a new LSB. values nearly to 10db which indicates the presence of very
To prevent the overflow and underflow problems, i.e., to high noise between the original and the encrypted image,
restrict in the range of [0, 255], it should follow these reducing the chance of any third party to identify the
conditions: encryption and decode it.

0 < l + [(h+1)/2] ≤ 255 and 0 ≤ l – [h/2] ≤ 255 B. Correlation

Correlation is the measure of similarity between the two
As we embed a bit into the difference value by images.
the DE, the new, h’, expanded difference value will be
Rx y = Co v (x,y)/( √D(x)√D(y) ) (14)
h’ = 2h + b (10)
i) For expandable condition value of h’ should satisfy Co v (x,y) = ∑ (xi – x’)(y – y’) (15)
following condition i=1

|2ℎ + | ≤ min (2(255 − ), 2 + 1) for both b=0 and 1 Where, cov(x,y) is the covariance between original and
ii) Difference value h is changeable under the integer average encrypted image ,x′ is the mean intensity of original image, y’
value l if is the mean intensity of the encrypted image and N is the
|2 × ⌊ ℎ /2⌋ + | ≤ min (2(255 − ), 2 + 1) , for both b=0 and 1 number of selected pixels.

The new data hided pixel value x’ and y’ can be calculated as:

x’ = l + [(h’ + 1)/2] (11) y’ = l – [h’/2] (12)

7. At the final stage, the obtained data hided image (Hi) is

sent to receiver side.
Table 4.2: Correlation between the input image and encrypted image
Table 4.4: NPCR and UACI values obtained for the encrypted
Image Correlation Correlation images (256 x 256) for the proposed method
coefficient coefficient
(256X256) (512X512)
Image (256 x 256) NPCR UACI
Lena -0.0017 -3.6091 x 10-4
Onion 99.596 33.467
Pepper 0.0014 -1.6860 x 10-4
Saturn 99.494 33.501
Coins -0.0037 5.54 x 10-4
-5 Lena 99.578 33.473
Cameraman 6.3135 x10 8.8465 x10-4
-4 Rice 99.512 33.495
Saturn 3.8395 x 10 -4.0060 x 10-4
Peppers 99.609 33.463
Onion -0.0014 -0.0023
Board 99.609 33.463
Circuit -0.0021 -0.0011
Circuit 99.468 33.510
Board 0.0059 -0.0020
Cameraman 99.602 33.464
Child 8.1492 x 10-5 0.0052
Child 99.555 33.484
Rice 0.0023 0.0049
Coins 99.60 33.464
From table 4.2 it is clear that the encrypted and original image
are non-identical, values being almost near to zero in the V. COMPARISON
correlation analysis, which means it is difficult to identify the A. Histogram analysis
original image from the encrypted one. The results are compared with THCA algorithm mentioned in
C. Encryption time

The major constrain of WSN is power. Therefore more time

for the algorithm implies more use of power which overall
lowers the life time of the entire network.

Table 4.3: Encryption time for different sample inputs

Message Time(sec)
Lena (256X256) 20.13
Pepper 21.97
Coin 31.997
Cameraman 20.17
Saturn 19.10
256 bytes 0.150
640 bytes 0.390
4096 bytes 1.6614
65536 bytes 3.3592


The number of changing pixel rate (NPCR) and the unified

averaged changed intensity (UACI) are two most common
quantities used to evaluate the strength of image encryption
algorithms/ciphers with respect to differential attacks.
Conventionally, a high NPCR/UACI score is usually
interpreted as a high resistance to differential attacks.
The histograms obtained for the encrypted images are
uniform, which makes it difficult for the intruder to detect any
changes in the pattern to interrupt and hack the information.
B. Horizontal ,Vertical and diagonal Correlation

Table 5.1: Horizontal, Vertical and Diagonal correlation

of encrypted image obtained by proposed method
Image Horizontal Vertical Diagonal
Lena 0.1010 0.1146 -0.2067
Fig. 5.1: (From top to down) Lena- Original Image, Encrypted Image, Original Cameraman -0.2077 0.0114 0.1886
Image Histogram, Encrypted Image Histogram (Left column – THCA
Algorithm paper results; Right column – Proposed algorithm results) Table 5.2: Horizontal, Vertical and Diagonal correlation
of encrypted image obtained by THCA method
Image Horizontal Vertical Diagonal
Lena 0.0303 0.0302 0.0311
Cameraman 0.2951 0.09935 0.09614

It can be inferred from table 5.1 and 5.2 that the relation
between adjacent pixels in horizontal, vertical and diagonal
direction in the encrypted image is also as expected, i.e. near
to zero, making it difficult to retrieve the original image for
the intruder.
From the THCA algorithm we have obtained the following
objectives successfully:
1. A robust security algorithm
In this paper we have made the use of a two phase hybrid
encryption algorithm which gives a strong security against the
network attacks by taking advantages of both symmetric and
asymmetric algorithms.
2. Fast computation
The proposed algorithm was compared with the existing
hybrid algorithms and it was inferred that algorithm
mentioned in this work is comparatively faster than the
previous ones which check marks another objective.
3. A low Energy consumption
For a WSN scenario to sustain a longer lifetime, it has to
consume less energy for every packet of data that the sensor
sends. To fulfill this purpose the proposed algorithm is light
weighted, which means it consumes less energy for the
encryption and decryption due to its fast computation property
mentioned above. This in turn increases the network life time.


WSN is a growing sector which will be having greater
demands in the upcoming future, in the areas of military,
medical, smart houses, traffic surveillance. All of these deals
with highly sensitive data and therefore security for the same
is going to be a prime concern especially now when we have
so much advancements in internet.
Combining the work done within this thesis with that of the
Internet of Things (IOT) can be a next step towards this
Fig. 5.2: (From top to down) Cameraman- Original Image, Encrypted Image, growth. Making the data available to the requesting users over
Original Image Histogram, Encrypted Image Histogram (Left column –THCA
paper results; Right column – Proposed algorithm results) the internet is both economical but highly unsecure. In order
to comply with the security measures, cryptographic
algorithms will have a very important hand in this direction.
This work presents the use of both symmetric and asymmetric
cryptographic algorithms for the encryption. This can be
further improved by developing a way to use both the
algorithms simultaneously which would result in more
complex encryption and would provide a much faster
Along with the previous improvements the proposed
algorithm can be extended to audio and video information.

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