Journal of Computer and Communications, 2014, 2, 1-7
Published Online May 2014 in SciRes. http://www.scirp.org/journal/jcc
How to cite this paper: Hu, X.D., Xu, H.R. and Han, K.M. (2014) Design and Implementation of Secure Nodes in the
Based-Internet-of-Things Intelligent Household. Journal of Computer and Communications, 2, 1-7.
Design and Implementation of Secure Nodes
in the Based-Internet-of-Things Intelligent
Xiangdong Hu, Hongru Xu, Kaimin Han
College of Automation, Chongqing University of Posts and Telecommunications, Chongqing, China
Received January 2014
Copyright © 2014 by authors and Scientific Research Publishing Inc.
This work is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution International License (CC BY).
As one of the most important uses of the Internet of things (IOT), the intelligent household is be-
coming more and more popular. There are many fragile nodes in the intelligent household and
they are bound to encounter some potential risks of hostile attacks, such as eavesdropping, denial
of service, error instructs, non-authorized access or fabrication and others. This paper presents a
method of design and implement of secure nodes for the intelligent household based on the IOT
technology, besides giving the hardware model of nodes, the management of key, the access au-
thentication of network, the transmission of encrypted data, and the alarm based on intrusion de-
tection and other security mechanisms. That is, to improve the security of the based-IOT intelli-
gent household from the viewpoint of nodes security. A test platform is built and the results of si-
mulation prove that the proposed method can effectively improve the security of the intelligent
household from access safety and transmission security.
The Intelligent Household, The Internet of Things, Secure Nodes, CC2530, Mechanism of Security
As one of the emerging strategic high-tech industries in today’s society, the Internet of things has already been
listed into “the national five-year development plan outline of China”, the research and application of the Inter-
net of things technology is bound to accelerate the industrial upgrading and transformation, at the same time, to
steadily promote the development of the national economy, to constantly enhance the comprehensive national
strength . The intelligent household is one of the most important applications of the Internet of things.
X. D. Hu et al.
In recent years, many cities in China have built a great number of intelligent infrastructures such as the intel-
ligent buildings, the intelligent households, the intelligent communications, or the intelligent logistics. To gain a
better quality of life, more and more people hope the house which they are living now to be intelligent and con-
venient. According to the report of the science and intelligent construction technology development promotion
center of the national ministry of construction of China: Due to the advantages in environmental protection,
health care, safety and comfort, the intelligent household have gradually become popular, the number of the in-
telligent household will increase sharply, the ratio of intelligent household is reaching around 20% now .
With the continuous development of the intelligent household, more and more kinds of sensors are used in the
intelligent household, the number of nodes is increasing, too, any nodes will be faced with the potential risk of
hostile attacks, such as the nodes are captured or re-disposed by an adversary, or the data of nodes are eave-
sdropped, interrupted, modified or fabricated and so on. At present, the research on the nodes in based-IOT in-
telligent household is less, the paper  and paper  put forward a kind of method of design of wireless net-
work nodes based on nRF2401 or DSP, respectively. The paper  focused on the Internet of things smart home
wireless sensor network node design，these papers have all been focused on a research on the hardware and the
software of nodes, hardly involved the security problem of nodes in the based-IOT intelligent household.
This paper presents a design method of secure nodes in the intelligent household based on the IOT technology,
and gives the function model of the nodes, the design of security mechanism and its implementation. From the
point of view on node security, to explore how to improve the security of the intelligent household system based
2. Nodes Hardware Design
After finished building the nodes of the intelligent household of IOT, all of communications between them are
exposed to an open environment, once the illegal nodes have broken through the legal nodes, they could pretend
to be the legal nodes, and could imitate the behavior of the legal nodes. The security model of the intelligent
household of IOT is included as follows: The nodes should have a safe and stable hardware design to ensure the
operation of nodes, the highly effective security mechanisms to ensure nodes security, the intrusion detection to
ensure the timely response to attacks.
The main function of nodes in the based-IOT intelligent household is to make the data acquisition and data
transmission safe and effective, the nodes module is made up of the processor (CPU), crystals circuit, reset cir-
cuit, power supply, antenna and the sensor module. Its structure is shown in Figure 1.
The hardware design of nodes needs to ensure the following aspects: low consumption of power, good per-
formance of the radio frequency, miniaturization, low cost, compatibility, etc.
Here we choose the monopole antenna. The length of the λ/4 of the monopole antenna is:
In the formula the unit of
is MHz, the unit of
Figure 1. Nodes module.
X. D. Hu et al.
The single-ended monopole antenna requires a Barron match between the differential output and the antenna.
The Barron match can be used in a transmission line form or a discrete components one. The two forms are
equivalent to adding a 50 Ω resistor load to the antenna connection. Compared to the discrete components form,
the transmission lines one improves the performance of the error vector magnitude (error vector magnitude -
EVM entry), the sensitivity and harmonic suppression are also improved, so the transmission line form is
adopted in this design . The 3D direction of the monopole antenna is shown in Figure 2. At the same time, in
the PCB design of the nodes, with the correct segmentation function block, the precise layout line, the reasona-
ble way of decoupling, the reasonable placement of transmission lines and other sensitive devices, it will im-
prove the performance of electromagnetic compatibility of the nodes by this method.
To match the needs of the communication protocols and encryption algorithm in the nodes, here we select
CC2530 (256 k) as a network node of the based-IOT intelligent household. CC2530 integrates the single-chip,
the ADC and the wireless communication module into one, greatly improved the reliability of combination of
the single chip microcomputer and the wireless communication module, moreover, reduced the volume and
weight of nodes, the CPU circuit diagram of the nodes is shown in Figure 3.
Figure 2. The 3D direction of the monopole antenna.
Figure 3. The CPU circuit diagram of the nodes.
X. D. Hu et al.
3. Security Mechanism of Nodes
On the basis of a good hardware configuration, the security for the nodes of the based-IOT intelligent household
needs to establish a security framework to realize confidentiality of data and security of control instructions
against the various attacks .
The security mechanism of nodes includes four aspects: random key management, access authentication, the
encryption and secret communications of control instructions, and intrusion detection and response. Firstly, es-
tablishing a random key management system. Secondly, initiating the process of access authentication based on
preset-key for nodes. Thirdly, before control commands are transmitted, they will be encrypted by a server or
node through the SM4 encryption algorithm, the receiving device will decrypt and recover the control com-
mands on passing the authentication. The process of safe operation of nodes is shown in Figure 4.
3.1. Random Key Management
In order to ensure the security of nodes, we use the random key management mechanism to provide nodes with a
secret and reliable communication.
The key of nodes in the based-IOT intelligent household mainly includes the authentication key to access the
network and the secret communication one between nodes. The former is used to identifying any equipment to
access the network, the latter is used for the verification of confidentiality and integrity of communications be-
tween nodes. Considering the property of nodes, we build the random key management and periodic updating of
key to lower the probability of being attacked.
3.2. Access Authentication
When any nodes request to join the IOT of intelligent household, they need to pass the corresponding access
authentication in advance. The soul of access authentication is an authentication of legal identity of node.
The backup node physical addresses Add n and the secret key k are stored in the center of trust. When any
nodes request to join the network, the trust center automatically analyzes the physical address of the secure
nodes, and sends a certification of the nodes request. After the nodes receiving the authentication request, they
will send the authentication key to the trust center. After passing the authentication of the trust center, the nodes
can be allowed to join the IOT of intelligent household. The process of access authentication is shown in Figure
3.3. Secret Communication of Nodes
In order to ensure the confidentiality and security of data or control instructions which are sent by the nodes,
Figure 4. The process of the safe operation of nodes.
X. D. Hu et al.
Figure 5. The net key authentication mechanism.
they need to be encrypted before transmitted, this paper adopts the SM4 encryption algorithm  , the flow
chart of encryption algorithm is shown in Figure 6.
3.4. Intrusion Detections and Responses
Beyond the random key management and access authentication mechanism above, the nodes must be able to
accurately identify any behavior of attack against the IOT of intelligent household, too, to detect and respond
any attacks timely and efficiently.
When the nodes detect an illegal action based on the security mechanism above, they will timely alarm and
send a warning report to the center of trust, so the based-IOT intelligent household can make timely response to
4. Tests and Validations
According to the security mechanism of the secure nodes in the intelligent household based on IOT, we set up a
point to point testing platform based on the design of hardware, the testing system is composed of a computer, a
coordinator of secure nodes and a number of end nodes.
4.1. Access Safety Test
The trust center will store the access keys and the physical addresses of nodes in advance. When any nodes re-
quest to join the network, the trust center will require to send the access keys, and to authenticate the physical
addresses of the nodes. When the nodes receive the authentication request, they will send their authentication
keys to the trust center .The trust center will identify the nodes and then sends the corresponding data to the data
window for observation. When the physical address of the nodes and the access keys are correct, the trust center
will allow the nodes to join the network.
To test the validity of the mechanism of security, here we imitate an illegal node request to join the network,
since the illegal node is unable to provide a correct access authentication key to the trust center, so the trust cen-
ter will judge the node as an illegal one and refuses it to join the network, meanwhile, it will send an alarm
timely. The testing results sample is shown in Figure 7, the first column is the key the trust center stored, the
second column is the sent key by the nodes to be authenticated. When the key of any node is wrong, the testing
window will report the illegal recorder which will be shown in the color of yellow.
4.2. Transmission Security Test
After the passed nodes joining into the network, they will establish the communication each other, such as be-
tween node A and node B. Assuming that the node A sends the data of “cquptiotsafetest”, node A firstly en-
X. D. Hu et al.
Figure 6. The flow chart of encryption algorithm.
Figure 7. The testing results sample.
crypts the data by using the SM4 encryption algorithm, and then sends the cipher-text to node B. Node B de-
crypts the cipher-text and obtains a correct data sent by node A, but other illegal nodes will cannot obtain the
right data without corresponding key. That is, an error node with the same settings, since the node has already
been attacked or tampered or forged, the node is unable to get a right key and pass the authentication, thus it
could not access the system and decrypt the cipher-text rightly. In the transmission security test window, we can
observe the error nodes which are unable to read the encrypted data, in this way, we can make sure the transmis-
sion security of data.
Meanwhile, by the access authentication and the data encryption, intrusion detection and alarm mechanism,
etc, we can detect the illegal nodes, the transmission security between nodes test is shown in Figure 8.
To deal with eavesdropping, denial of service, error instructs, non-authorized access or fabrication and others
threats in the based-IOT intelligent household from the adversary nodes, this paper proposed a method of secure
nodes based on CC2530, integrated the random key management, the access authentication, secret transmission,
and the intrusion detection and alarm mechanism, to realize the security of the communications and control of
the nodes in the system. The results of simulation test tentatively show that the proposed method of securing
nodes can satisfy the requirements of a secure intelligent household, to be helpful to ensure operations in the
based-IOT intelligent household safe and reliable.
X. D. Hu et al.
Figure 8. Transmission security test between nodes.
This work is supported by the National Natural Science Foundation of China (61170219) and the Natural
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